Low Cost Single Family
This design is the first price winning entry for the 2006 Sustainable Home Competition.
The entry was to improve the quality of life of the people who will inhabit the space and provide flexibility with various living arrangements. The project budget was $125,000 requiring creativity in use of readily available materials and simplified construction techniques to provide a more customized home for the budget.
By carefully configuring the program of the house on the site, the solution created a variety of indoor and outdoor public, social and private spaces with the house becoming a Figure and not an Object. The front porch is a strong signifier at the community level and stretches across the front of the lot to elevate social relations, while at the same time providing carport for unloading groceries and people under cover of the house. With access from the front porch and the living room, the garden serves as a focal point for the social spaces of the house. Rainwater is stored in cisterns in both the front and the rear yard and distributed into the vegetable garden via drip lines in between rain showers. The site plan has been designed to comply with Xeriscape’s guidelines and suggestions for low water usage.
Air moves through the house in a variety of ways depending on the season. In the Spring and Autumn, a centrally located attic fan draws cool air in from both the social and private sides of the house through the Living Room. In the Winter, the house is zoned in such a way as to permit complete or partial heating. Windows facing south permit the low winter sun to heat the dining room and kitchen throughout the day.
The living room is the nexus of all activities in the house by interacting with every space on the site from the most public to the most private. Maximum flexibility is achieved by all load bearing walls at the perimeter of the house in every zone, maximum number of interior and exterior spaces, and services embedded along the side property lines allocating free and open space around the garden and grove. Moveable wall panels allow the house to adept to a variety of family sizes and social arrangements.