This house for a young family was designed to be constructed of cross-laminated timber (CLT).
The site is at the center of a city block. The adjacencies are inconvenient visually and acoustically: neighboring back-yards on 3 sides and a commercial parking lot on the fourth. Stables and garages had previously occupied the lot, some of them built on the property line. The remains of their walls, built of stone, brick and concrete block, define the extent of the garden to the North and East.
In order to maximize access to sun, air, and the outdoors, living spaces are planned around a center courtyard. Parts of the masonry structures were absorbed into the structure of the house. In the area of the kitchen a 3-season room faces the walled garden.
The CLT structural system gives the house a density analogous to the stone buildings that characterize this part of the city. CLT is a very robust system. It is fire-resistant, and can be used for both load-bearing slabs and walls. It has the advantages of providing high thermal mass, acoustic isolation, and natural air-quality control. Compared to concrete, it offers low embodied energy and high degree of carbon capture. For these reasons CLT is a strong up-and-coming green building technology.