Phoenix Desert House

Abstract

In a society where resources are very limited, taking advantage of passive design strategies in architecture is a must. In order to accomplish this, architectural design must be conscious of its climate and context. Our project, the Phoenix Desert House, examines the implementation of climate conscious design within a prototypical site, in an attempt to explore the extent at which these passive concepts can be integrated into the design of a house. Through the exploration of different passive systems and strategies we looked to design a house through determining which systems would be most effective within the given climate conditions, and then integrate them into our design process. The approach that we took began with the development of a basic design that addressed general site, climate, and environmental conditions. The next step was to investigate different passive systems through a series of phases, which isolated their different needs, such as heating, cooling, and day lighting, in order to make the correct alterations to the design of the project. By using climate analysis software, we were able to produce data that reflected the specific climate characteristics we needed to address through different passive systems, as well as those that we did not. The resulting design for the Phoenix Desert House takes advantage of climate conditions such as high diurnal temperature range, east/west prevailing winds, and minimal annual rainfall through the implementation of a grey water collection system, chilled mass night purge ventilation, and passive solar heating.