EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.
This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.
You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
I was wondering.
Which Usonian homes have been built in areas that have snowy winters?
Do any of those houses have the flat roofs?
Has there been any trouble with usonians in the winter regarding the snow or leaking roofs or ice?
Which Wright designed home was best designed for winters?
Pluses of Usonians in cold and snowy weather:
Wide roof overhangs keep the snow and wind away from the foundation, doors and windows.
Radiant heated floors keep the houses cozy and warm.
Large masonry fireplaces radiate and store heat.
Large expanses of masonry throughout house help to absorb and store heat.
Glass walls typically face south for passive solar gain.
Dark colored concrete floors absorb and store heat from the sun.
Flat and low pitch roofs hold snow for insulation.
Lower ceilings keep heat from rising too far above our heads. In traditional Scandinavian Nordic houses, the ceilings would be even too low for Wright!
In the earlier Usonian houses that have wood board and batten exterior walls, the walls might be too thin to insulate well and hold the heat.
Insulation in ceilings is minimal by today's standards.
Snow build up on flat and low pitched roofs can create roof leaks, and the weight of the snow is considerable...
Our house, (The Lamberson House in Oskaloosa, Iowa) is remarkably comfortable in the winter. We have only one set of french doors in the entire house, the majority of the glass faces south and east, there are only brick exterior walls, plus the concepts which I mentioned above. I believe all of this combines to help the house stay warm in winter. Having said this, I have not been in other Usonians during the winter, so I have little to compare it to.
Thank you for the detailed reply.
You pointed out some details I had never thought about so far.
I saw images of your home and they look great!
here is another question. What about cross ventilation in a usonian home? Are windows friendly?
And again I wonder the opinions of the chatters which Wright house was best designed for winter. As for summer... I think thats an easy one... Taliesin West. Dont you agree?
http://www.eartharchitecture.org/upload ... std_04.jpg
http://pc.blogspot.com/2008/04/cooperat ... using.html
Jacobs 2, a realized project, was earth bermed:
If so well after all the roof collapses around Tulsa, flat roofs plus 14 to 20 inches of snow adding 3 more inches yesterday well I am surprised.
I believe not only does the Price Tower look good in snow but I can believe the Harold Price Jr. Residence would look good in snow,agree?
It is a hassle to get around Tulsa so staying inside and not risking taking photos, just staying inside.
My house, though not Usonian, looks good in the snow. If you are curious about my house style it is has the French Mansard Roof, Pinkish Brick and French Country Details.
But either way you slice it I think Usonians show way more Beauty in the Snow hands down
Here is a quote from doorsandwindows.com regarding casement windows which Wright used almost exclusively:
"Typically cranked open from the bottom, casement windows open outward much like a door. This has a few advantages over other window styles. Breezes, thanks to the angled opening mechanism of casement windows, are either kept at bay or directed in. When installing these windows, whether or not you want to funnel the breeze inside should be taken into account, so that you can orient the window properly.
Another advantage of casement windows is their ability to open completely, much like an awning window. This can be great for letting the nice weather in, but, unlike awning windows, the opportunity for precipitation to sneak in is ample. For sheer ability to open, no other window style surpasses casement and awning windows. When it comes to security and airtight seal, these windows offer protection that is rivaled only by fixed windows."
I wonder how warm the Pope Leighey house is during the winter months, as they have had the "luxury" of being able to reconstruct the system two times?
The flat roof of the kitchen has leaked in its history, but only once during my watch. Two of the four 2"x4" scuppers are vulnerable to icing shut which causes the trapped roof water to find a gap in the flashing near the scuppers. The scuppers are easily deiced with a hammer and long screwdriver as a chisel.
The flashings of the sloped roof to the masonry have been problematic all along....as built they are not stepped and extend only about 3" or 4" above the roof surface. Based on 1950's and 1960's era pictures, it appears the original flashing was stepped and extended up 4" to 6"...what posessed an owner in the '80's or 90's to install the current low profile flashing is beyond me. The sloped roof drains toward the masonry mass at a couple of locations and the crickets are not substantial enough to divert the water to a place to drain away, so the flashing and a caulk joint are holding ponded water at times. This year's project is to replace the flashing and crickets with details better suited to conditions.
I'm not too worried about leaks, thanks to a new roof, but the snow load is what bothers me. I think i'm a little paranoid about it, I mean the house has to have gone through some serious winters in the past...I do go clear the drains though.
Our windows seem to do a great job, and offer great winter views wile keeping nice an cozy indoors.