We’re firm believers that humanitarian efforts plus green design equals real solutions that make a difference; and here’s a great example. The American Institute of Architects recently announced the winners of their 2007 Housing Committee Awards, and the “Special Housing” category went to a smart project out of the Auburn University School of Architecture, developed for two Habitat for Humanity homes in Alabama. The DESIGNhabitat 2 house was developed specifically for Habitat for Humanity, and serves as a prime example of thoughtful, innovative green design for a good cause.
The 1040-square-foot DESIGNhabitat 2 House uses a centerbay scheme, much like that of Michelle Kaufmann’s Breezehouse, which uses two factory-built modules set on either side of a site-built central space. The home’s modules are prefabricated but site-assembled, offering an open floor plan and good cross-ventilation and boasting a spacious three bedrooms and a full bath. Much like the classic “Dogtrot” design, it creates communal space in the heart of the house. And as for green materials, the DESIGNhabitat 2 house integrates a cedar siding rainscreen and sprayfoam insulation, which is easy to install, and much less toxic and more energy efficient than the cotton candy pink stuff we’re used to seeing.
The jury selecting this winning entry for its successful use of modular design for affordable housing, with careful inclusion of climate-appropriate considerations, energy performance, and spatially-efficient, high-quality design. Congrats to everyone involved in this great project!