Framing for the walls of LEAFHouse was a topic of much debate during the design process. Ultimately, traditional stick framing with spray foam insulation was selected for the prototypical nature of a Solar Decathlon entry (flexibility, thickness, and strong thermal performance). As the LEAFHouse design develops further, it is likely that SIP panels would also be appropriate.
While the framing of the walls was driven by practical considerations, the framing of the roof required greater attention to the architectural expression envisioned by the team. In order to make the solar panel array integrate with the design of the house, we designed the volume of the living room to reflect the angle at which the panels would be mounted. The unique shape that resulted allowed us to enhance the expressive character of our structure, eventually leading to the use of the welded steel knife-plate and pipe beam depicted in these photos. When looking up in the house, can you see the stem and veins of a leaf?