Fifty years ago the Seattle World’s Fair captured the imagination with a home filled with inventions that make mundane housekeeping tasks easy (and even dispensable). The resulting home displayed at The Seattle Center was named “The House of the Immediate Future”. Now The Miller Hull Partnership and Habitat for Humanity Seattle/South King County have teamed up to bring a new residential project of the same name to the foot of the Space Needle, which welcomed the World’s Fair of 1962. This 1,400 square-foot home, built by the volunteer force of Habitat for Humanity, showcases the affordable, environmentally friendly building technology of today. It is one of seven super energy-efficient homes being feature by Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes this year.
Miller Hull is no stranger to progressive, sustainable projects for clients that need and deserve good design. Both David Miller and Robert Hull spent time in the Peace Corp before continuing on with their architectural careers. Their experiences in the Peace Corp led them to incorporate their belief in social responsibility into their firm. Therefore, Miller Hull’s design for this Habitat for Humanity home leveraged materials and methods that fit the companies’ mission. The house in the original ’62 World’s Fair was full of knickknacks and gadgets dealing with consumption, while the current version focuses on affordability and flexibility in a design that barely consumes.
The two-story home has four bedrooms and two baths – even at 1,400 square-feet in size. The construction of the home features a prefabricated “wet core” built by Method Homes, which houses a mechanical room, kitchen, bathroom, and all plumbing and HVAC systems. Though the house is assembled using panelized segments, the off-site construction of the “wet core” in a manufacturing facility helps to reduce the construction time and cost. Other practical construction techniques utilized to ensure affordability and quality include maximizing insulation and minimizing air-infiltration.
Other sustainable features of “The House of the Immediate Future” include: solar panels, a Zehnder heat recovery ventilator system, Atrium triple-pane windows, compact fluorescent lighting, EPA WaterSense fixtures, a liquid applied water resistive barrier, a Daikin Altherma ductless heat pump, and potable rainwater harvesting systems. The home is Northwest ENERGY STAR Certified and consumes net zero energy.
So hurry down to the Seattle Center if you are in town this weekend. The house will be open to the public starting September 1st. The Next 50 Celebration starts this weekend and “The House of the Immediate Future” will remain open through October. Habitat for Humanity will then transport this home to its new permanent location in the Rainier Vista Housing Authority development, where it will become a new home for an appreciative family of five.