Designed by Architect, Jason F. McLennan, creator of the Living Building Challenge, Heron Hall is a custom, single family residence located on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington. Design and construction of the home followed the stringent, sustainable design and performance requirements of the Living Building Challenge Standard. Associated Engineering completed structural engineering for the home. Low-impact materials that were not “Red-Listed” (e.g. did not contain chemicals harmful to living creatures) were used.
The two-storey primary hall is supported on 600 mm thick seismically detailed, reinforced rammed earth shear walls with rigid insulation sandwiched in between, with a continuous concrete structural bond beam on top. The suspended ground floor was framed with wood structural insulated panels, detailed to act as a seismic diaphragm. The second floor and the walls above were advanced-framed, light timber with built-up timber portal frames, creating a voluminous vaulted hall over the main living space. Salvaged/reclaimed timber was used extensively, both for structural members and non-structural elements.
Special attention to detailing of the connections and joints was required for both the rammed earth and wood structures. We developed comprehensive structural and construction details to help achieve long-term, low energy performance. Other notable features include a rammed earth stair shaft, outdoor wood decks, and rammed earth “garden” walls. The roof has an array of solar panels for generating all of the home’s power needs. A cistern collects rainwater for household use.