garage before

Tamarack Urban infill project: To take an existing garage 17' x 21' and retrofit it with two strawbale walls on the north and west. Add solar collector on roof for hot water, and a hydronic heater for space heating. Existing slab  sealed and painted and a sisel rug   laid on top during winter as a thermal break, and in summer rolled up and stored to allow cooling. The strawbale walls are on the interior of the existing structure and are externally pinned with solid core bamboo. Burlap was used as a cover for the straw upon which an earth/lime clay slip was brushed upon for three coats of stucco. The existing roll-up (non-functioning) garage door was replaced with two recycled and insulated windows on each side of a 42" solid core door into which we placed a 3x3 insulated iwindow. 

wpe4.gif (228057 bytes) solar panel burlap
The 17' x 21' existing garage, in transformation. 2 string strawbales were placed on the north and west walls. A small utility room was firred out to existing door into garage and a doorway directly into the house was constructed. A 5' x 10' solar water collector was added to the south facing roof of the garage. 2 hydronic heaters are connected in line, one in the new studio and another in the new attic loft. By replacing the electric water heater with the new solar panel and natural gas as a back up heater, there have been 30-70% savings by being more energy efficient. After placing the strawbales onto a plinth wall of concrete block over the existing concrete slab, the afters above were used as a box beam to attach the bamboo pins to. Burlap was used instead of wire mesh as an experiment with fibers and plasters. 3 layers of earth/lime plaster was brushed onto the burlap. 6 moisture sensors keep track of the moisture in the strawbale walls.


looking east

The studio is now complete and exists as the home of solar7.83 design studio.

office space
East View of completed studio looking at the new doors and windows replacing the old roll-up garage doors.   Looking at the west wall of the studio. A Mini loft is to the top left above the new utility room that has its own skylight. A ladder system from the studio allows access.


The studio has now become a studio apartment completely May 2003

wpeB.jpg (4467 bytes)        wpe11.jpg (3589 bytes)              wpe12.jpg (4347 bytes)


wpeC.jpg (7688 bytes)

the connection between the main house and the studio was an old porch that was turned into a closet before the purchase of this house. The crawl space was utilized in the forming of a closet which has now become a shower/toilet area (ship style). Bamboo flooring, recycled shutters used for a window and a shutter door provide ventilation and light.  the interior has a checkerboard pattern tile work of classic patterns to make the space seem larger.
wpeD.jpg (3692 bytes) the loft area entered by way of climbing holds makes a nice space with skylight  to sleep. Also pictured is the solar water space heater that runs off of the domestice HW system. A 70 watt fan is required to heat the entire space.

wpeF.jpg (3812 bytes)

IKEA counter installed under a custom shelving unit built by the owners using scrap wood and finish veneer. the fridge cabinet creates a kitchen space and storage in the small space.
the strawwalls with earth plaster and reed matting were left as is, but a recycled interlock floor matting was placed over the existing 4" concrete poured garage floor. This allowed us to not worry about leveling the concrete, it didn't need it. This rubber also serves as a thermal break and moisture barrier, besides providing a nice soft surface to walk on. Total cost $500, and its 100% recycled from tires. wpe10.jpg (3480 bytes)