Mark Clipsham, Architect

The Tri-Arm House has many possible configurations. Pictured above is the model with a 706 sf garage/shop on the main floor level, and either a 826 sf guest house, cabin or office located on the second floor level. Or the Tri-Arm can be a full-featured 1652 sf house with 2 carports, kitchen, and living room and bathroom on the main floor level, and the second floor has two or three bedrooms or two bedrooms and a study/office/guestroom.

The basis of the design components is to put a grain bin inside a grain bin and insulate the space between them with foam. This makes the structure self-supporting, self-framing (no studs in the outside walls), thermally and acoustically broken (super-high performance), and maintenance free for fifty plus years. The shell is completely recyclable, can be built without concrete, added siding or added roofing. They can be built without drywall on the interior. The structures can be relocated and reconfigured easily. They are very strong and greatly resist wind storms of all types, earthquakes, floods and can be quickly fitted to be protected from forest fires. They have very little job site waste (pre-engineered).

The tri-arm is a 30' dia bin with a modified 90' dia roof and (storage) piers at the end of the arms. The curve of the roof edge is designed for shading in summer while allowing for solar penetration in winter. The 3D composition of the spaces provides a smooth transition most homes lack between the interior and exterior. The interior borrows from the exterior and provides versatile spaces to accommodate numerous and different types of activities. Articulated overhangs allow for storing wood, protected outside work areas on rainy days, parking vehicles under cover w/o a garage, protected drop off area and dining or living outside out of the sun and rain. At the end of the arms are storage areas for tools/equipment that also tie the roof ends securely to the ground. On the second floor the arms have sleeping/working/living balconies or a place to hang clothes, sculpt, paint etc. The arms can be screened in or glazed.

The Tri-Arm structure is designed to evolve as needed or be used as a container to house different functions. Alternatively the tri-arm can be used as a workshop below (with a table saw, in the center, that can be moved out of the way to park vehicles inside) with a guest house or office above (or a two level ski/lake cabin/condo, branch bank/PO, convenience store etc. with office above). The glass and aluminum garage door allows you to open the workshop up on nice days and is used as a solar collector on sunny, cold days. Those functions stay the same when both floors are used as a residence and allows you to open the entire side of the house to the outdoors (for entertaining) and for passive cooling at night. The glass garage door would be (thermally) protected at night w/ a rolling door or movable insulation. The roof arms protect from bad weather at the balconies and the first floor, but allow for day lighting and views at the roof arcs. The upstairs in one plan is open or curtained into private areas with sleeping lofts above (ski chalet or beach cabin), in the other upper plan the closets have doors on both side for double functioning and to be able to open the rooms into one space. There is the option for a third "1/2 storey" (w/ a cathedral ceiling, “fan vaulting”). The location of the fill hole, fitted with an operable skylight, and the use of some perforated flooring allows for day light penetration in the center on all floors. The fill hole in the center, at the top, allows for natural venting (a heat stack) in the perfect spot.

Floor Plans

Mark is offering 12 hours of consulting time (starting from the point of contact) with the basic cost of this plan, and this can be done before you receive the plans so that it is possible to have some custom alterations made, in addition to discussing exactly what configuration will work for you. With this offer you can get custom plans for the price of ordinary stock plans! The system is versatile, flexible and often interchangeable between designs, so that you can mix and match; please review other plans offered for amenities and features you may want to include in your design. You can find Mark's other plans listed under his biography.

All designs depicted are the exclusive property of Architecture By Synthesis and are copyright protected.

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These plans include all plans, sections, elevations, details, etc. that are appropriate for this plan package. Ten hours of consultation with the architect is included.



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I specifically disclaim any warranty, either expressed or implied, concerning the information on these pages. Neither I nor any of the designer/architects associated with this site will have liability for loss, damage, or injury, resulting from the use of any information found on this, or any other page at this site. Kelly Hart, Hartworks, Inc.

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