2020 Design-Build Practicum: The HyggeHaus
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Eight students from the Department of Architecture and the Building & Construction Technology program are collaborating with Kent Hicks of Kent Hicks Construction to design and build a net-zero energy micro-house. Architecture Department Visiting Lecturer Robert Williams and BCT Lecturer Carl Fiocchi also served as co-leaders of the practicum which began in earnest in January and which will continue through May. The small dwelling, designed and built by the students, will be displayed at the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA this July. The front porch will serve as the stage for a few of the festival’s musical acts and after the festival, the house will be auctioned and the proceeds will be donated to charity or non-profit.
Over the course of an intensive two-week January term design session, students met with many local professionals, including architects, landscape architects, policy makers from local municipalities, specifiers, builders, and building scientists, to understand the opportunities and challenges of developing small, energy efficient alternatives to conventional housing. Ultimately, through a collaborative process, the students decided to design an approximately 300 square foot micro-house that could serve as an Accessory Dwelling Unit. Simultaneously, they articulated a series of ambitious priorities for the project including net-zero energy, net-zero carbon, affordability, accessibility, social and climate equity, and health.
The proposed design, deemed the “HyggeHaus,” is a modest and efficient studio-style dwelling unit. Hggye is a popular Danish concept that refers to coziness and comfort. Accordingly, the students intend for the design to enable a feeling of contentment in a rather small space. To enhance the unit's potential impact and appeal, the students designed this studio to be a basic module that could, in theory, be expanded to an either one- or two-bedroom dwelling unit in order to meet different or changing occupant needs. Designed around relatively conventional wood stud framing and wood trusses with both cavity and outboard insulation, the HyggeHaus is net-zero energy and employs recycled and low carbon materials throughout. In lieu of a conventional concrete foundation, the house will sit on foundation screws for low impact. It also features an innovative pre-fab construction system that will allow it to be repeatably shipped, assembled, and disassembled.
The student team is currently finalizing construction documents and aims to commence building in March.
Many thanks to Kent Hicks for developing this practicum and for his support of the students throughout the process. This project would not have been possible without his generous contribution of time, expertise, and materials. Thanks also to the many local professionals who contributed their time and expertise to guide the students through the design process.