A floating home that seems to come alive on the water as it breaches the surface and takes a breath both literally and figuratively. In order to create a home that could be both a refuge and a beacon for change, the whimsical concept had to be infused with environmentally conscience design elements that are highly visible and are easy to operate and maintain.
Every detail of the 1969sf home had to be approached from a sustainable view point. Walls and roof are designed with maximum insulation thicknesses/ minimum air leakage possibility. Exterior materials have been chosen for minimum maintenance and maximum durability. The cement fiber wall paneling is installed as a rain screen system to prevent any possible moisture infiltration. 2/3rds of the roof is covered by a 5.32Kw solar array installed over a standing seam metal roof and 1/3rd is a vegetated roof system to help insulate further the interior space. The curved line of the roof lends to making both systems visible to passersby on the water as well as on the dock.
On the inside, finishes have been selected that are made from salvaged, recycled, or rapidly renewable materials as much as possible. Windows throughout the house provide purposeful views to the lake and strategic operable locations give the ability to vent the house naturally during warm months. Low-e triple glazing minimizes solar heat gain while still bringing in maximum daylighting. During cold months, the house is heated by a geothermal heating system that captures heat from the lake and feeds a heat pump that circulates the warm water through an in-floor hydraulic loop. LED light fixtures are used exclusively as well as ENERGY STAR appliances and water efficient fixtures. Last but certainly not least, the house is designed to showcase the most important feature, a highly innovative approach to restoring shoreline that is located below the the floating home's deck. In-water planters called floating islands are suspended in the water from the deck structure. They are made from a recycled plastic matrix material that allows the root systems of the native wetland plants that are planted in them to grow through and eventually extend to the water below creating fish habitat. The material also allows friendly bacteria to colonize it as they feed on the excess nutrients in the water, cleaning it and discouraging suffocating algae growth. The concrete float of the home becomes an observation room for studying these floating islands through a large underwater window.
As a sustainability expert, Lanker Design LLC is pursuing LEED certification for this project.