Residential Design

VOL.6 2018

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Although built as components and assemblies at the Bensonwood factory, the Clinton Corners compound still reveals its roots in Lake|Flato's modular Porch House system. Hampshire-based Bensonwood company, just three hours north of Clinton Corners. "I've been talking with Tedd since about 2009," Bill recalls. "We were always eager to do some work with them because of their capabilities, but also because I thought they were very cool people. At the time the Clinton Corners project came up, I had just been at a conference with Tedd where he gave the keynote address." Bensonwood doesn't do modules, it builds high-performance panels, components, and structural systems, so the company had not been an obvious partner in the Porch House program. But for this particular hybrid project, it made sense to Bill, Evan, and the rest of the design team to explore a collaboration. Custom Origins What makes Bensonwood so different is its deep roots in craft-intensive custom building, combined with the high-tech savvy of the best European factories (see our Pro-File on page 18). Bensonwood built a name for itself as a leader in timber frame construction, a technique that was dying out before Tedd took up the cause. Now Tedd actually runs three interrelated companies focused on prefabricating building components and assemblies. Bensonwood is the high-end custom residen- tial branch of the business; there's also a new company called Tektoniks, which provides advanced components to developers and architects for larger commercial and residential projects; and there's Unity Homes, which builds high-performance hous- es based on a flexible platform of home plans. Unity Homes' houses are intended as a more affordable al- ternative to pure custom homes, leveraging the efficiencies of a kit-of-parts approach to delivering customizable houses. Each core plan has been engineered for rigorous energy efficiency, healthy indoor air quality, and resource conservation. This trio of goals aligns precisely with what Lake|Flato has been striving for with the Porch House portfolio. The shared goal for both Bensonwood and Lake|Flato on this and possible future projects is to marry the strength each brings to housing—Bensonwood's building performance chops and Lake|Flato's design prowess. On the Clinton Corners proj- ect, they explored where the sweet spot might lie between an "The goal of the Porch House program has been to streamline the delivery process for design, so we have more time to focus on the details." —Bill Aylor, AIA 29 VOL. 6, 2018 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM

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