Town Home Design Principles
The latest contemporary and environmentally sound design principles were applied throughout the architecture and building plan to provide the finest in mountain comfort, style and environmentally smart living.
Environmentally Smart Exterior
Exterior materials were selected to be environmentally smart and low-maintenance. The siding is a cement fiber siding that is weather resistant and rot-resistant with a factory applied finish. Decking is composite, made from recycled plastic and wood fibers, and does not require refinishing. Window exteriors are vinyl (or metal clad) and also do not require refinishing. The galvalume roofing will patina over time allowing the buildings to further blend into the environment of the site. In our future building phases we are emphasizing the use of recycled wood timbers.
Finlander Arches Tradition
“Finlander Arches” were inspired by the historic barns and grain elevators in and around Red Lodge built by Scandinavian dry land farmers, mostly Finns, who homesteaded west and north of Red Lodge in the early 1900’s. At the time large timbers were scarce and were mostly used to support the mine tunnels. The arches are substantial and designed to carry the barn size roof loads of snow commonly found in this part of the country. These beams were created by laminating together smaller boards and cutting them to a curved shape, a process that is no less labor intensive today.
Interior Comfort and Style
The interior layout was designed to accommodate the more casual western lifestyle. The Great Room, Kitchen, and Dining Room are unbounded open space that in turn flows out onto the large exterior patio overlooking Rock Creek. The exterior windows finish at the floor to enhance the connection between the interior and the bank of Rock Creek. These windows are tall capturing views of the ridge beyond and bring an expanse of daylight into the unit.
The second floor plan is more intimate. The bedrooms each have private decks overlooking Rock Creek and are tucked discretely under the roof overhang. With the doors and windows open, the gurgling of Rock Creek will serenade everyone to sleep. A flexible loft space at the top of the stair case overlooks the double-height foyer with views of the rock cliff to the east. The loft can double as a secondary sleeping area or media/study area. In the foyer we have exposed the roof structure to add character and uniqueness to each unit. The rough-sawn fir joists and beams recall the vernacular mine, chrome mill, and other agricultural buildings that previously occupied the site.
Superior Sound Isolation
The walls separating Town Home units have been designed for superior sound isolation providing a 2 x sound quietness factor over conventionally building. The Island at Rock Creek Town Homes have separation walls with an STC rating of 59. T he typical interior, 2×4 stud wall in a home for example has an STC of 30. In better hotels the STC between guestrooms is in the range of STC 40 to 45. Additional measures have been taken to minimize the transmission of vibrations through the structure. For example, each unit has its own independent floor structure; sound dampening insulation has been added to walls and above ceilings; and flexible supply piping has been used throughout.
To conserve energy and to lower utility costs the R values of the insulation in the exterior walls, crawl space, and roof exceed the requirements of the 2003 International Energy Code. Heating system ductwork is fully sealed and insulated. Each unit is equiped with a high-efficiency gas furnace with a programmable thermostat. The windows are sealed double-pane glass with Low-E coatings to reduce heat transfer and also minimize interior color fading.
Fire and Safety Protection
The specified separation walls include an extra layer of gypsum board on the interior surfaces providing additional layer beyond the required a 2-hour firewall rating. This additional protection is likely to achieve a 2.5 to 3 hour rating. The Building Code requires that walls separating units have a 2-hour fire resistance rating so that a fire in one unit can be isolated giving the fire department time to respond and contain the fire. This “compartmentalization” in conjunction with the early detection provided by smoke detectors provides added life safety and protection of property.
Residential Building Code Standards
The Town Homes are designed to comply with the structural and life-safety requirements of the 2003 International Residential Code and often exceeds these requirements. Safety issues include egress type windows in sleeping rooms, windows with safety glass, smoke detectors, and enhanced fire wall protection between units and around the garages.