The Integrative Healing and Learning Center, located in Chapel Hill NC, is part of a mixed use residential community adjacent to an educational farm known as Spence Farm, and an alternative Waldorf School. The project is situated on a 1.55 acre track where a completed private residence, future Integrated Healing Center facility, and a proposed Art Center are being developed to create an integration of healthy living, working, and creative healing environments. Our approach toward creating healing experiences is interdisciplinary by nature where Holistic Medicine is responding to Eco-Restorative Architecture and Ontology. These improvements to the land are dedicated to ecological suitability and are seen as an integral part of the sacred spirit of the land. All the trees were felled and milled on site (Pine, Cedar, Oak and Walnut) to constitute the flooring, decking, over hangs, counters, trimming and additional decorative aspects of the house. During construction, the local timber was used on many occasions for different opportunities (forming, scaffolding, wall straw packing, etc.)
Twelve 40 foot long structural interior steel tie rods enable the design of a 40 foot clear span enabling the use of non-load bearing interior wall throughout. This one feature gave the architect/owner full liberty to daylight the interior of the building in remarkable ways. (Refer to photographs).
This stored rain water is used for toilette flushing and exterior irrigation. The walls of the building are made of 13.5” thick Straw clay and 1.5” Lime plaster on each side. Those constitute an incredible insulation and geothermal quality toward such healing experience.
The twelve sided building surrounding a naturally lit central point, the Native American four spiritual orientations expressed through the orientation of the walls, the golden numbers expressed in the rails of the balcony along the central wall trims, the golden rectangle at the northern end of the central space and lotus shaped upper walls of the second floor are part of the many mythological expressions that reflect another expansion of such healing experience. Two additional expressions favored by Frank Lloyd Wright are the feeling of squeeze before the expansion as you ascend through the stairs before the opening that the upper floor balcony and the feeling of suspension through the two suspended balconies by their related robust chains is an invitation for moderation and contentment for our day-to-day life while remaining mindful of all living beings.
Lastly we are proud to report our HERS rating of 58 that equate to 72% more efficiency compared to standard existing homes. For a natural building capable to have an envelope leakage ACH50= 2.26 brings new understanding that natural buildings are able to blind of energy efficiency, beauty and health to our living space.
Builder: David Anderson, David Anderson Construction | NC Architect: Tim Watson, TLWArchitect | Hillsborough, NC Developer: Dani Mouawad, MD, Dalia Holding LLC | Chapel Hill, NC Land Planner: Dani Mouawad, MD, Dalia Holding LLC | Chapel Hill, NC Landscape Architect: Laura Baldwin, In The Koop Inc | Hillsborough, NC Interior Designer: Dani Mouawad, MD Dalia Holding LLC | Chapel Hill, NC
Alternative Building Systems: Light Straw Clay slip with lime&sand plastering, Passive Solar scaled roofing to maximize Northern lighting, innovative passive vertical indoor ventilation, controllable LED lighting to simulate outdoor lighting (intensity and colors), Comprehensive EMF protection through metal lath shielding and mitigating EMF emitting apparatus, Urbanite for landscaping, Rain water collection and filtration System, Moister monitoring and control of building envelope and indoor air, SIP panel roofing, Rice husk as sound insulation and fire retardant in selected areas. Geothermal and independent Dehumidifier systems, Urine divergence infrastructure. The intension is to promote safe and aesthetically healing environment while setting the stage for further research and development for an interdisciplinary Healing Space.
Appliances: : Climate Master Tranquility 30 Geothermal system. DR90-2000A Dehumidifier. All appliances are Energy Star Certified.
Automotive:Electric Car charging and PV panel are part of phase II of the Integrative Healing Center
Building Envelope: Light Straw Clay Slip. The clay was shifted from our property and packed into wooden frames. Lime, sand, straw and Mullite constituted the material for plastering inside and outside overlapping metal lathing for EMF shielding.
Cabinets, shelves, millwork: Designed and handmade from local lumber mostly from the Property itself (Cedar, Pine, Walnut and White Oak)
Caulks and Sealants:Negligible amount of caulking or other synthetic material. The prevailing sealing materials are Linseed oil and Shellac. The Bathroom Wall Sealed with Olive oil Soap.
Central Vac: Close to 35 feet elevation permitted effective passive ventilation through a remotely controllable skylight window
Countertops: Designed and made from Local Walnut wood sealed with butcher oil.
Decks: 2 balconies made of locally harvested Oak wood suspended by thick chains attached to the overhangs of the roof
Door/Hardware: Handmade main door reflecting Renaissance Style made from Cedar wood from the land.
Electrical: 200 Amp AC service with 24 volt DC LED lighting and two 24DC outlets. The Permanent meter located 20 feet away from the building as part of a mindful low EMF designed House.
Exterior Finishes: : Natural plastering with Lime, Sand, Mullite and Straw, total of three layers
Fire Protection: Natural Plastering and Boric Acid coating on wooden frames along with Rice Husk filling are part of the fire protection in addition to our compliance to standard of the international code for building.
Flooring: Made of pine & cedar wood filled and milled from the land. Tiles limited to a small area around the toilette.
Furniture: Mainly wooden, some glass and metal surfaces.
Garage Doors: None, open parking
Home Controls: LED lights controlled through radio waves or Wi-Fi. Central Skylight Window powered by an integral PV panel and remotely programmable and controlled.
HVAC/Ducts: Intentionally independent Dehumidifier in case of power shortage. Geothermal System with Flexible& hard standard residential code.
Insulation: Inner & outer walls (Light Clay Slip). Roofing (SIP Panel), Basement (Straw, Rice husk and foam boards), Upper level walls (rice husks) for sound insulation
Landscaping: Hardscape and retaining walls from recovered Stones and Rocks from local excavation. Urbanite recovered from dumping, were used for pathway and exterior steps in addition to retaining walls. The landscape takes into consideration permaculture practices
Lighting: LED 24V DC with dimming and light wave control to simulate the bluish morning and reddish evening natural lights
Paints and Stains: Natural oils; linseed, tongue oil, shellac and limited low VOC paints
Pavers: Chiseled concrete pavement (Urbanite) recovered locally
Plumbing Fixtures: Faucet with automatic shutoff, Low flow shower head, Low flow and dual flushing toilette, pressure tank that pumps rain water from a total of 4500 gallons (3 septic tanks as rain water containers) for toilet flushing and irrigation all to minimize waist and maximize reclaim water. In addition to filtering system to improve water quality.
Renewable Energy System: PV panel for Skylight window
Roof: SIP panel with EPDM membrane. The overhang is scaled to permit perfect passive solar on the south end and higher penetration of natural lighting on the north end of the building
Specialty Products: Straw is infused with diatomaceous earth and 10-15%Boric acid. The same was applied to the entire framing structure and at the perimeter of the building as an antifungal and termite/ insect repellent
Structural: Standard concrete block basement and wood framing
Ventilation: Maneuverable upper floor inner windows. When closed they permit heal retention in bedroom during the winter and heat evacuation in the summer when open, thanks to the central skylight that permit effective passive evacuation. The latter close automatically in the event of unexpected rain.
Water Filtration: Double water filtration of reclaimed rain. First through a vortex filtration apparatus than through standard washable filter.
Water Heating: Geothermal/ central
Waste Management: Rain water capture in three concrete tanks which function as retaining walls to basement and step over to back patio and entrance. BTS (black welder Tank Services; a green company)
Window Coverings: Wire screen
Windows/Skylights/Patio Doors: Double glass windows (Ply-gem), Central Skylight as above described, Standard Patio Door framed with cedar and Pine trimming.
Other: The design constantly kept in mind health promoting concepts. Examples: about 90% of what we wear daily constitutes 10% of what our closet contains. So is the large laundry room to quarantine what we rarely use. The outcome is less potential for allergy and more practicality to our daily use of closet and less potential for dust collection and UV deterioration as the laundry room has minimal lighting.