We have broken ground for the foundation of the Taliesin Prototype. On March 29th, we poured the concrete and set the weld plates for the steel supports that allow the prototype to hover over the desert floor and wash.
My hiatus from updates on the Taliesin Prototype for PrairieMod (last one being 2/7/08) resulted from the group's need to look at the initial prototype and re-think the idea of an affordable prefabricated structure. Through consultation with local designer Michael Johnson, we were able to come up with a revised prototype in which, panelized construction allows for quick and cheap fabrication on site or in a factory. The Taliesin Prototype will be built on site.
The design is generated by efficient use of panelized systems resulting in a simple, bold profile. We have been working with Premier Building Systems to fabricate the Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS) that will make up the walls, roof, and floor of the structure. The prototype will be clad with a cementious board the same dimension as the SIPS that can stand up to the Arizona sun. A garden wall will integrate solar voltaics, providing privacy to the bedroom and power the unit. By putting the solar panels on the ground it allows us to avoid the expense of cutting into the roof for wiring and mounting. When this design is replicated, the solar garden wall can be put up first--allowing the building to be constructed using its own power source. The wall allows a level of customization to the plan for different sites.
Creating different combinations of the prototype is the next design challenge for this project. More renderings and a floor plan with next week's update. The project is slated to be "dried in" by early May, then we will depart for Wisconsin using the summer for interior detailing.
Images Copyright: Nick Mancusi, Ada Rose Williams, Christian Butler, Jeff Graham