Civitas; Photo credit: archamania

Metal Architecture at METALCONLive! is kicking off a new series of webinars aimed at showcasing projects that illustrate the beauty, durability, efficiency, and sustainability of metal. The first live session is scheduled for next Wednesday, January 13 at 1:00 EST and will explore Civitas and the role of metal in meeting a zero carbon world by guest speaker and renowned architect, Barry Yoakum. So what is Civitas? According to its creator and owner, Mr. Yoakum explains, “Civitas is poised to become the first certified zero energy/zero carbon single-family home in the Americas. Positioned overlooking the Mississippi River, the project involves its site fully, connecting interior and exterior and private property with community space. It is a case study house that focuses on balancing the challenges of cultural norms, climatic concerns, resiliency, and adaptability.”

Recently featured in Metal Architecture in the July 2020 issue, editorial director, Paul Deffenbaugh, comments on Civitas, “The tension between architectural expression and building performance is never so great as in a structure that pushes the boundaries of sustainability.” Civitas is the residence for Mr. Yoakum, FAIA, who is also the principal for Memphis-based architect firm, archimania. The firm used the design process as an opportunity for experimentation and the architect, aligned with his family, challenged the design team to integrate healthy, resilient, high-performance, and sustainable strategies to achieve the design framework for a 200-year design life cycle. What resulted is a certified LEED Platinum for Homes and per the International Living Futures Institute, it is the first registered Zero Energy and Zero Carbon single-family dwelling in the world and is currently under review for certification.

What makes it so different is “through the expression and performance of the building materials that the home becomes much greater than its parts.” To achieve its zero energy/zero carbon certification, Yoakum used a combination of metal materials including vertical metal panels, a dual-metal skin attached to the structural insulated panels on the upper form, and recycled aluminum panels. Its sustainable attributes include a solar array on the roof with a battery back-up, geothermal heat pumps with radiant floor heating, a water cistern that collects roof water and can hold 10,000 gallons. In his talk next week, Yoakum will explore how:

  • Salvaged structural steel was used to limit the carbon footprint for the hybrid structure
  • Exterior cladding provided a low maintenance, durable finish that expressed a compatible scale to the neighboring homes
  • The neutral material pallet provides a canvas for light, shadow, and texture to be featured as an ever-changing dynamic expression
  • The operable screen panels provide flexible tunability to filter light, shadow, and an implied boundary around the south and western facades
  • Overall integration supported high-performance goals

Barry Alan Yoakum, FAIA, LEED AP – PRINCIPAL, archimania

Barry is a modernist at heart and designs progressive projects with regional influences. He is copartner of archimania and strives to produce designs that spark architectural dialogue in a vastly traditional region. As Principal-in-Charge of Vision and Collaboration, Barry promotes extraordinary architecture by leading the collaborative design process among client, project stakeholders, and design team. He was elected to the College of Fellows American Institute of Architects (FAIA) for his contributions in design in 2010, which places him in the top one percent of all U.S. architects. He is also a Legacy LEED Accredited Professional and has received more than 50 awards, including AIA regional, state, and local design awards, a NOVA Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Citation.