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Best Green Houses


Make a New Plan, Dan: Aiming for better passive-design standards, Dan Rockhill opts for a courtyard plan.

Rockhill and Associates
November 2009

By David Sokol

The well-known regional modernist Dan Rockhill is not exactly a fan of residential design-build commissions. “We give this work away; if we weren’t building it all there’s no way this stuff could happen,” the Lecompton, Kansas–based designer says of almost uniformly tight budgets.

Sensible House
Photo courtesy Rockhill and Associates

Click the image above to tour this month’s Best Green House.

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And yet Rockhill takes on single-family projects again and again. Since its inception, Rockhill and Associates has assembled a portfolio of homes that is formally consistent: perched on pilotis, protected by shading devices, conversant with vernacular buildings.

While Rockhill has been able to use these commissions to develop a widely identifiable design vocabulary, funding restrictions have prevented him from pursuing active sustainable technologies. Rather, he and his eponymous studio have refined passive strategies, and he is particularly fond of the so-called Sensible House “because we were able to get full cross-ventilation and full passive solar in every room.” …



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