This Design Habitat proposal constitutes three Habitat for Humanity housing prototypes (2BR, 3BR, and 4BR) for an urban infill condition. The goal of these prototypes is to design high performance housing that is environmentally responsive to culture, physical context, and climate in order to conserve energy and money for the homeowner. The durability and quality of the house are primary factors considering the comfort, health, and safety of its occupants.

The designs are based on a two foot modular grid with a low initial cost between $40,000-$60,000 that also consider affordable lifetime cost solutions. Simple and straight-forward foundation, floor, and roof plans as well as ease of construction allow active volunteering and community engagement in the construction of the housing prototypes.

All three prototypes utilize a covered front porch that controls solar gain and enhances social interaction with the surrounding neighborhood, while a screened back porch opens the living area to the back yard, effetively expanding usable living area. The use of light colored building materials acts as a reflective barrier while a rainwater collection system adds additional efficiency. Coupled with operable windows, a whole house fan in the main living space allows for natural comfort ventilation to improve air quality and assist with cooling strategies.

Other modifications and design principles:

  • Operable casement windows with double glazing.
  • Wooden screen integrated porch design for optimum shading
  • Raised foundation with crawl space
  • Conditioned crawlspace to allow for increased energy efficiency
  • Whole house fan
  • Rain water collection system