Big Dig House

Because yesterday was Earth Day, PBS was re-airing design:e2, an Autodesk-funded series on "the economics of being environmentally conscious". So obviously, I was drawn in.

The whole series was incredible, but the episode that really caught my eye was "Gray to Green", which discussed a Bauhaus-style built by Paul Pedini (designed by SINGLE speed DESIGN) using Big Dig waste (specifically steel and concrete slabs used for temporary ramps and support). I was especially excited when they started showing 3-d models of the house even though I can't be sure if the project utilized intelligent modeling or not.

The reuse of materials reduced the cost of materials as well as the schedule; the building was framed in 2 days.

When Brad Pitt (as the narrator of the series) explained that the house was built in a suburb of Boston, I was determined to find it and visit it. After some googling, I found out that the house is in Lexington (only a short distance from Tocci’s headquarters!), in a neighborhood dedicated to Bauhaus design.

About 20 minutes later, I parked my car a few blocks away from the Big Dig house and walked over to it. Luckily, the family is used to the attention the house gets and allowed us to walk around the property (although I’m hoping that I can contact Paul and arrange a tour through the inside at some point).

Although all of this isn’t directly relevant to BIM, I think I can defend it as a BIM post – because BIM is a tool that will further enable sustainable design. Besides, the house is amazing.

More articles on the house:

USA Today


Metropolis Mag

1 comment:

Miguel Krippahl said...


It is good to know that you constructors are paying as much attention to the art side of architecture as architects are to the technical side of construction.

This means we are on the right track :)