Capstone Major Project

The Capstone Major Project is the final assessment of the Associate Degree program in Architectural and Construction Technology at Montego Bay Community College. It exists as a demonstration of our abilities to utilize all the skills and knowledge we accumulated over the program’s two year course. This project required students to produce a design of a four-bedroom residential building utilizing green-technology in order to make the building sustainable.

This residence was designed in partnership with Melissa Jackson, a classmate and colleague. Other team members include Daniel Webster and Jerome Garwood.

The unusual height of the walls is to ensure the roof receives sufficient sunlight regardless of whether two story buildings are built neighboring it. They also create high ceilings that keep the interior cool. The roofs are angled at 18 degrees, 50 percent of which are south-facing, all to maximize solar exposure throughout the year. The residence was designed with reliance on solar energy in mind.

The house is centred around the courtyard with the hallway looped around it from which all rooms and spaces are accessible. This also allows the courtyard to bring daylight into all major spaces of the home.

The gallery style kitchen leads to the dining area, and is open to the rest of the living space. All appliances of this home are intended to be powered using solar to avoid, even for cooking, the use of fossil fuels (such as propane). This means cooking will be done on an energy efficient induction cook-top instead of a gas range.

We used jalousie windows for the exterior because the louvers permits up to 95% airflow, creating highly effective ventilation, while shading and further cooling the space.

These animations show the shading of the house at noon; a series of images taken in the middle of every month from January to December.

The jalousie windows on the exterior successfully keep direct sunlight out of the living space all year round, while the courtyard lets in more direct and indirect light into the interior.

These interior views of the living space illustrate the solar efficiency of louver windows as used in this design perfectly. Around noon when the sun is high in the sky and when its rays are strongest, the louvers function like awnings by keeping the interior space shaded. Around sunrise and sunset the fully open louvers permit the less intense sunlight into the space. This provides natural lighting in the dimmer times of the day, delaying the need for artificial lighting in the evening while also creating a warm ambiance at dinner time.

This feature of the residence is a contemporary version of the Japanese engawa. It can be described here as a hallway that transforms into a porch by the opening of one side to the outdoors.

The courtyard moderates temperature further and provides ventilation by allowing air out of the building. It also allows more natural light into the interior of the building. It is used here to create an indoor-outdoor space, providing unobstructed view of the sky and direct exposure to sunlight; an outdoor experience all within a more private setting. The nest effect created by the building surrounding it blocks much of the direct sunlight from entering the living space reducing heat gain.

The clerestory glass louvre windows above the courtyard allow indirect daylight into the living space, and also allow warm air to exit the building when opened, further enabling the living space to keep cool passively.

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