News from the Adventure Inn

Blurb about our Architectural designers and our design

I wanted to provide information about our Architectural team as they have been crucial to our project. It is a bit long but I believe that what they have to offer is of benefit to anyone thinking of building a green building. They have been incredibly helpful and full of passion as we work together to make this happen. We highly recommend them to anyone who is planning to build a green building whether it be for personal use or commercial.
About Us
Rachel Wagner and Doug Zaun are the owners and principals of Wagner Zaun Architecture, located in downtown Duluth, MN.  Together they nurture a business and a philosophy with a commitment to client service, inspired design, community involvement, sustainability, and environmental stewardship.
Doug Zaun

Rachel Wagner

About our Work
Services include architecture, research, and consulting; utilizing a creative and communicative process, and emphasizing environmentally preferable practices and materials. The standard for all work is based on the conviction that good design supports communities and enhances both the built and natural environment.  Our integrated approach defines sustainable design as that which balances the needs of individuals and communities, conserves resources, adapts over time, creates beauty, provides comfort, and endures.
The most sustainable approach in architecture is to make buildings habitable with less energy input from fossil fuel sources. We typically strive to design a building to use half or less energy than would a typical building of the type.
Placing energy use as the highest priority does not mean that other elements associated with green design are not significant or important. In general, a green approach will emphasize the use of materials, assemblies, and systems that are durable, easy to maintain, and are not associated with health risks to occupants, installers, or the general public. In addition, the very design of the space can contribute to the sustainability of the structure.
About the Design of the Adventure Inn
The best design solution often comes when the process includes a vision, a few constraints and the opportunity to explore the unconventional. The Adventure Inn offered all three conditions, first defined by the Owners. We came later, and both process and solutions unfolded as we defined and developed the vision, the constraints, and the unconventional.
The Vision
  • A building that reflects the personality of its owners, with a feeling evoking the practicality and warmth of a farm kitchen
  • A simple, pleasing place where guests feel comfortable and welcome
  • A building that makes use of the sun’s warmth and light, evident both inside and out
  • Design, construction, and operation that signify environmental stewardship
The Constraints
·         Site limitations: property size, slope, topography, existing layout
·         Budget
·         A specific timeframe for construction
The Unconventional
·         A building form guided by a design for roof-mounted solar thermal collectors
·         Porch and balcony to encourage outside time and interaction with neighbors
·         Sleeping rooms all face east to welcome morning light and face the quieter street
·         A super-insulated building enclosure: extra insulation under the slab, in the SIP (structural insulated panel) walls, and in the attic
·         Insulated fiberglass window frames with triple pane glass
·         High performance ventilation system for energy efficiency and indoor air quality
·         Quiet, low energy radiant heating
·         As much as half the building’s hot water, and some heating, provided by the renewable energy of the sun
·         High efficiency air conditioning from a heat pump system
·         Space for flowers, owing to the green thumb of the owner