• Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
    Install a Vinyl Privacy Fence
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • 9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertop Ideas
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details

A Contemporary Water-Collecting Home

comments (2) July 25th, 2012 in Project Gallery, 2013 HOUSES Awards Gallery         Pin It
GHAdesign GHAdesign, member
thumbs up 9 users recommend

Courtyard view
Courtyard seen from the rainwater storage room
Bridge over double-height living room
Rainwater catchment system diagram
Courtyard viewClick To Enlarge

Courtyard view

Photo: Muffy Kibbey

In addition to a commitment to building green, our clients for this project shared with us three particular goals: to connect to a courtyard or garden; to take advantage of a spectacular Bay view; and to harvest rainfall as a precious resource. These simple ideas became the main formgivers for the house. 

We kept in mind the Roman impluvium, an ancient courtyard building type whose roofs flow to a central cistern. In our case, the site suggested an open courtyard. The impluvium unfolded to the view, optimizing solar orientation while loosely embracing a sunny outdoor room. The roof became a simple shed, flipped up at the southeast end to introduce daylight and direct water to a single downspout feeding an 8,500 gallon cistern. 

A kitchen/dining/sitting area reaches to the distant view, while a central two-story living room links daily life to the more immediate sensory delights of a fully restored native plant garden and courtyard.


posted in: Project Gallery, 2013 HOUSES Awards Gallery, New Construction, Small Home, Energy-Smart, 2013

Back to List
Next Article
Next Article:

Comments (2)

bayou66 bayou66 writes: Should have said some say
Posted: 3:38 am on February 19th

bayou66 bayou66 writes: I would like to learn about the cistern system and if the pumps work efficiently enough or you to recommend this way of doing rainwater collection. I am learning about the concepts but have not done a project with it yet. The project I have in mind is very small and one say I should have the water collect above my highest usage point.
Posted: 3:37 am on February 19th

Log in or create a free account to post a comment.