Cradle to Cradle

Matthew Coates partnered with his associate Tim Meldrum to win this international competition in 2005. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things was the inspiration behind this competition. This concept was developed by William McDonough and Michael Braungart to promote “ecologically intelligent products that generate economic, social, and environmental benefits at every phase of their use” (AIArchitect). Essentially the goal is to create products that can be recycled and reused with as little waste as possible, while also producing buildings that are self-sufficient. The program for this design competition was to design an affordable single-family home, with three bedrooms and two baths. There were over 625 entries from more than 40 countries. Ultimately the home should not cost more than $100,000 and must blend in, while still looking progressive, with the existing neighborhood homes in Roanoke, Virginia.

Waste Not

Essentially the goal is to create products that can be recycled and reused with as little waste as possible, while also producing buildings that are self-sufficient.

Cradle to Cradle, Design Competition Winner, Sustainable Systems Diagram

The winning entry utilizes timeless passive strategies, shielding unwanted summer sun and absorbing heat from low winter sun through its thermal mass. Active solar collection provides the main source of necessary electrical energy. Instead of using typical construction materials the designers’ incorporated soy-based wall panels and recycled concrete materials. The core extends vertically, clad with a super-conductive photosynthetic plasma cell skin that is able to generate 1200% more electrical voltage per area than contemporary photovoltaic. Coates’ Cradle to Cradle design builds on current research involving extracted spinach protein, this living skin in photosynthetic and phototropic – it grows and follows the path of the sun, generating electricity beyond the needs of a single family. Excess power is distributed to neighboring homes and street-lighting infrastructure.

Matthew Coates became impassioned about making a difference after winning this International Cradle to Cradle design competition that challenged entrants to conceive the most sustainable home design of the future. He understands that true sustainability incorporates societal, environmental, and economic factors – these are common threads woven into each and every project at Coates Design Architects. Capturing the momentum from this achievement, he created a firm to design buildings that uplift the spirit, nourish the mind, and contribute to the health of our bodies, while respecting the environment in which they are placed.

Features:

  • Reclaimed water for subsurface irrigation
  • Vertical photovoltaic core
  • Grey and black water recycling & storage systems

Works Cited:

http://info.aia.org/aiarchitect/thisweek05/tw0225/0225c2c.htm