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Wisconsin’s first LEED Platinum home designed with ArchiCAD

Richard Wittschiebe Hand Architects designs first LEED Platinum Home in state of Wisconsin with the Ross Street House. The ArchiCAD-based firm utilized this leading BIM program to help achieve more than 100 LEED certification points towards its Platinum status.


Carol Richard, of Richard Wittschiebe Hand (RWH) Architects has designed the first LEED Platinum home in the state of Wisconsin, a 2,700 square foot, three level residence that achieved 102 out of a possible 136 LEED certification points. The Ross Street House, in Madison, Wisconsin, is one of only 200 LEED Platinum homes nationwide. 

Richard’s design features large south-facing windows with sunscreens, permeable paving, tankless water heaters, solar panels, a variety of recycled and regional materials, an energy efficient furnace and a rainwater collection system for irrigation. 

ArchiCAD used to create “light box”

ArchiCAD played a particularly important role in helping Carol Richard capture as much of the winter southern sun as possible while providing shade in the summer. Using a Building Information Model (BIM), she created a controlled “light box” to model sunlight patterns and louvers that would allow the sun the penetrate the home between October and February, while shading the windows between May and August. 

Being a good neighbor was also an important design goal. The house sits on a small lot among a mix of postwar Cape Cod style homes and a few 1960’s modern homes. The architect and her husband wanted to maintain the scale of the neighborhood and utilize its familiar materials. Richards used ArchiCAD to model the adjacent houses to see how well her design fits into the neighborhood. 

As a lover of modern design, she felt it equally important to create a space that reflected her own design sensibilities, and which would feel comfortable in scale. “With ArchiCAD, we were able to design and view all elements of the project inside and out and share it with our integrated design team to spot and solve problems up front rather than discovering them when it was too late,” said Richard. “When we decided to move to Madison, we were determined to create a new livable and efficient home for ourselves. We are interested in the environment and want to be good neighbors to the people who live on our street and to the world in which we live. Being able to model your design, site, environment and green strategies all within a single BIM model made attaining this goal much easier.” 

To learn more about ArchiCAD or to visit the Carol Richard’s firm’s website go here:

Richard Wittschiebe Hand Architects.

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