This project responded to an individual design competition for technologically innovative solar homes. The proposed design, Lean-to, relies on prefabricated manufacturing techniques to reduce the embodied energy of the project while aiding in the ease of construction. Lean-to rests very lightly on the ground, hanging from the exposed structure. The lightness required to elevate the building demands an efficiency and economy of space, thereby reducing the overall footprint. Though small in dimension, the experience of the space expands past the edges of the volume outward onto the porch and beyond.
Critical to the design, even at the inception, was the idea of exposed structure. Rather than being confined within the interior of the wall, the framework for Lean-to is honestly expressed. The exposure of the structure also enables easy initial assembly and rapid erection, given that the piers have been set in advance. The thinness of the exterior vacuum-insulated cladding panels is only made possible by the load bearing properties of the external structure. Ultimately, the tubular steel frame is able to reduce the overall weight of the assembly without compromising any of its strength or insulative properties. This lightness is doubly advantageous, both for construction of the building as well as during shipment to the site.