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Casa Verde: the Lighthouse

Dwell recently featured the Lighthouse, a London-area show home by British architects Sheppard Robson, which uses the sky as a resource for temperature control. The primary feature of the house is its windcatcher, "the ultra-modern descendant of an ancient Middle Eastern cooling tool," which allows residents to "directly manipulate the flow of air into and out of the home," (hot and cool air) by opening and closing its shuttered apertures, depending on the season — without the use of electricity. The building's structure also gets natural, floor-to-ceiling daylight, light wood, white walls, and plenty of glass which keep it bright, and the traditional placement of sleeping and living quarters have been switched, so that high traffic areas (living areas) get maximum exposure to its large windows and rooftop light shaft upstairs. Once a few of its kinks are worked out, the Lighthouse’s total energy bills will be roughly $60 a year. While "the Lighthouse" is certainly a fitting reflection of Sheppard Robson's efficient use of light, its name is also a metaphor for the structure, which serves as a beacon, guiding the way for energy-efficient residential design.
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