YELLOWSTONE CLUB, MONTANA – Based upon utilization of historic Architecture, respect for cultural heritage, outstanding natural beauty and the incorporation of sustainable design principals, a Western States Architect has designed Mountain Living’s “Most Responsible” Residence of the Year.
The project Headwaters Camp, located in Yellowstone Club - Big Sky,
Montana “is carefully cradled in a world defined by the orderly needs of
program and the random artistry of nature in the extreme,” says Dan
Turvey. Set on the edge of a series of man-made ponds, streams and
falls, a rustic cabin appears to hover over the sparkling waters of a
high mountain alpine lake. “Developing our Master Plan on this 22 acre
parcel from among others available was a critical decision made by the
owner,” says Turvey. “It wasn’t readily apparent that such potential
existed on a site that lent itself more to limitations than an
envisioned family encampment.”
Designing a structure in the Rockies at 8000 feet, proximate to
Yellowstone National Park presents many challenges; including an active
seismic zone, annual snow fall approaching 8’-0” and an underlying
geology that must be considered well in advance to undertaking any
formal response. Within these constraints the Architect looked to the
National Park and our collective early century architectural heritage
for creative inspiration. “The idea was to showcase and celebrate an
enduring, regional vernacular that conveys strength, permanence and a
sense of confidence amongst an overwhelming panorama of majestic
mountains and weather extremes,” says Turvey. “The added practical
benefits of this vocabulary allowed us to seamless integrate moment
frames, shear panels and a wide flange ridge beam, while also accenting
the dwelling with rafter tails, reclaimed dimensional timber and log
assemblies throughout a substantial structure.”
The difficulties of achieving energy efficiency in a rustic vocabulary, which by this example utilizes the appearance of dove-tailed, hand hewn, sand chinked timbers, dry stacked stone and old world planking, was accomplished with an artistic approach of applying materials to a conventional wood framed structure. The final result is a modest sized, 1800 sf, rustic dwelling that reflects sustainable values that have been honored at the highest possible level by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
This LEED-Platinum designated home is the first in Southwest, Montana and the third home in the state to receive any certification from the USGBC. “The vision for Headwaters was to create a family camp that feels and looks like it has existed for 100 years,” says owner Todd Thomson. “I was also determined to build a home that reflects my values as an environmentalist and board member of the World Resources Institute.”
Photo Insert: The Guest Cabin as seen from the opposite end of a high altitude pond, which provides for family enjoyment while serving as a thermal mass for a WSHP - exchange loop. The primary axis of the structure aligns to this water feature and another towards a magnificent view of the nearby Pioneer Mountain located deep within the Madison Range. The home gently keys into the waters edge, complimenting this rustic structure’s connection to the landscape. (Photos by Audrey Hall)
“Really what makes this project so special was the commitment on behalf of all the parties to push Headwaters Camp to a level that currently has no equal” say Turvey. “In the big picture of things, the end product is a reflection of an Owner’s exceptional vision and directive.” while adding “The contractors commitment and determination to make the mark cannot be understated; without the teams applied effort, certification would not have been possible.”
Headwaters Camp – Guest Cabin
"Green Building” often evokes images of rectilinear like structures with clean, geometric lines. So how is it possible for a Rustic Cabin that appears to have been built decades before, to receive a LEED for Homes Platinum rating: a top designation for residences awarded by the United States Green Building Council?
Consider for one…that the Headwaters Camp - Guest Cabin is an original design and likely the most efficient ever built; for instance eliminating problems of uneven settlement, air and insect infiltration normally associated with buildings of this type, a fully insulated Chimney and Fireplace enclosure and a WSHP- Pond Loop sized for Cabin and Home alike.
Design - Performance Accomplishments
1. Hidden Seismic and Live/Dead Load Engineering – Wide Flange Ridge Beam, Micro-lam Roof Framing, Moment Frame, Shear Panels and Shear Walls all disappearing seamlessly into a structure that appears to have been built 100 years earlier.
2. Applied Reclaimed Finishes – Eliminating Air and Insect Infiltration typically associated with Rustic Dwellings; utilizing Dove Tailed Timbers, Dry Stacked Stone, Standing Dead...Log Beams & Columns, Rustic Wall/Floor Planking, and Dimensional Rafters/Beams.
3. Unique fully insulated, tube steel framed Fireplace and Chimney, utilizing an Isokern Fire Box and Chimney Chase.
4. WSHP – Pond Loop, Radiant Flooring, Air Exchange Units, Grey Water Reclamation, etc.
5. Super Insulated Structure (combined closed cell spray foam and batt overlay) and Triple Glazed Window Units
6. Conventional wood framing at prescribed, increased spacing, saving material and money
7. Over 100 - third party certified points in the designation of LEED Platinum.
Celebrate the universal capacity of Good Planning and Outstanding Design with Dan Joseph Architects
Regardless of vernacular, the principals of “Green” building still apply; with DJA…Rustic and Western Design can now share in the same positive attributes that other environmentally responsible buildings enjoy; fostering sustainable building practice as a good steward of our natural resources.
Headwaters Camp – Professional Services
“Single Source” Services provided by Dan Joseph Architects:
Construction Administration and Oversight · Site Master Planning: Building Envelopes, Aquatic Design (Ponds and Streams) · Infrastructure and Site Access Planning · Civil Engineering Coordination · Geothermal WSHP Engineering Coordination · Building Design - Schematics, Design Development, Construction Docs: Cabin, Horse Barn and Primary Residence · Structural Engineering Coordination · Architectural Review Committee submittals · Mass Modeling and all other related Professional Service tasking for this outstanding and unique High Mountain encampment.