NerdPlex

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Overview

NerdPlex is the next stage of Nerdhaus. It will be designed to accommodate 6-8 people in a way that gives each person their own space while still maintaining the benefits of living in a shared house. It will be something between an apartment complex and a house. An apartment complex is too disconnected, since each unit is self-contained. A house is not good as a long-term living situation, since a bedroom can start to feel like not enough space that is just "your own".

The project is to design the ultimate living situation that combines the best of both worlds.

Sustainable Building

Part of the challenge in designing this structure is to design in a way that supports sustainable building. This may include the following elements:

  • Passive Solar Design - Taking advantage of natural sunlight to heat the house
  • Solar heated water - No need to burn gas to heat the water when sunlight can do it pretty efficiently
  • Green building materials - Using renewable sources like bamboo in as many places as possible
  • Rainwater collecting - We can collect rainwater from the roof and store it in a tank to use for flushing toilets. My dad actually has this system at his house right now, it's totally doable.

Rooms We'd Like to Have

Bedrooms/Individual Spaces

  • Each person's individual space should contain a bedroom, a small studio or office space, and a bathroom. The bedroom and office area could be combined into a single room, letting each person partition the space however they want. Each should have their own outside access, so that it is not required to go through the main house to come home.

Kitchen/Dining

  • Large shared kitchen, and possibly an additional smaller kitchen on a different floor. The second kitchen may not need a stove, a toaster, microwave and fridge/freezer may be enough.
  • Let's build a walk-in fridge! Apparently it can be done for $600: http://www.brewrats.org/walkin.cfm

Home Theater

  • Home theater room should be large enough to seat 12-18 people comfortably, but also have the option to seat a group of 4 while still feeling snug.
  • A separate (smaller) entertainment room equally snug.

Work Areas

  • Without going overboard, it would be great to have a large room that could be used as a workspace for projects that really need to be spread out. It should be flexible enough to be used for multiple purposes, but one use would be as a photo/video studio including full backdrops and studio lighting. This might also be able to double as a recording studio, if we build an attached soundproof room.
  • We may want a separate building for this. This would allow us to use it for projects we may want to feel more professional and also maybe give us more space/better layout (like super high ceilings?). Perhaps it could also include a small office or conference room for more professional type meetings. We could each have a file cabinet or something in there to use to store items we would need for those times.

Crazy Ideas

  • Crazy idea -- an indoor pool and hot tub at the center of the house??
  • Question: How and where do we integrate BarBot? Should it be part of the main kitchen/dining area? Or part of a living room area?

Features

  • Intercom system to be able to talk to anywhere in the house easily
  • Built-in speakers to pipe music to any room
  • Cameras at all outside entrances, so that anyone can see who's at the door when the doorbell rings
  • Environmental Sensors for every room
  • Power control for every socket and every light, like x10 but better!
  • Package Delivery Notification system at the front door
  • Physical security - design in such a way that breaking in is difficult, and partition off parts of the house so the risk of theft is minimized

Notes on our Current Living Situation

The Good

  • Cooking meals together
  • Hanging out and doing homework together in the kitchen
  • Lots of outside porch space for hanging, eating etc.
  • Cozy nooks and plenty of blankets for sharing.

The Bad

  • Noisy kitchen interferes with nearby bedrooms
  • We're slightly short on freezer space
  • The lack of cozy living area without a TV.
  • No cubbies in the kitchen/dining area for storage of study stuff and such.
  • The ugly couch in the garage. :(

Future Future Future Plans

  • After we build Nerdplex, we'll build a bunch of them in a small neighborhood and call it Nerdberg. If we quadruple the number of Nerdplexes, we'd have Nerdopolis. After a couple Nerdopolis' are built, we'll call it Nerdopia. From there we can move up to Nerdia, North and South Nerdia, Nerdistan, once we've got a continent we can form the Nerdean Union, until we finally take over everything...the Verse.

Links