Sarah Rich

PREFAB FRIDAY: DESIGNhabitat 2 House

by , 03/23/07

Habitat for Humanity 5, modular housing, 2007 Housing Committee Awards, DESIGNhabitat 2 House, Auburn School of Architecture

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.



Habitat for Humanity, modular housing, 2007 Housing Committee Awards, DESIGNhabitat 2 House, Auburn School of Architecture

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!

+ DESIGNHabitat 2 House

+ Via Treehugger

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6 Comments

  1. Richie September 19, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Walter,

    Congrats to the Aubrurn-U team for some nice designs. Hoe cost effective were they ? I personally woul dhave picked the 2 story design as the finalist. Whatever.

    When I visited the Wired Magazine ‘NextFest’ in NYC in 2006, architect William McDonnough (spelling ?) was displaying some remarkable housing designs that were exclusively fabricated from 8″ thick SIPs . This included the floors and roofs, as well as the walls. The key was structurally supporting the diagonal and horirzontal spans (floors, roofs) with bamboo beams inset between the SIPS, like ‘splines’.

    So I’m surprised to see low cost housing is still using what appears to be stick-frame construction… which then requires spraying in foam insulation, etc… when SIP’s are already are foam insulated ?

    What were the considrations that led the design team away from SIP’s towards the seemingly ‘same old’ Stick – Frame construction methods ?

  2. Gill Burns April 15, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Thanks for this Walter. Much appreciated

  3. Walter April 4, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    I am one of the Auburn students who helped design and build this house. Thank you for showing interest in the house we designed. For those of you are interested in floor plans, elevations, and sections you can go to this link to check it out.

    http://www.cadc.auburn.edu/soa/design-habitat/index.php/main/studios/studio-2/5proposals/breeze/

    We also had a few other designs that we proposed to habitat and palm harbor, who was the modular builder we used. Here is the page to go to to view those if you are interested.

    http://www.cadc.auburn.edu/soa/design-habitat/index.php/main/studios/studio-2/5proposals/

  4. Gill Burns April 3, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Hi. Our Habitat affiliate is exploring how to build good-looking, low energy affordable houses, and we’re very interested by your design. Really eye-catching! We’d love to see plans and other construction information too.Thanks. Gill Burns

  5. Ron Seko April 1, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    The house looked great in the first couple of photos, but most of the pictures displayed a house under construction, on a dirty lot. This may appeal to the Do-it yourself crews, but I’m a clumsy old fool! A General Contractor is going to build my prefab! General construction, plumbing, photo-voltaic systems, etc. should be performed by skilled & experienced workers.///Prefabs For All, (not just Do-it Yourselfers).

  6. Kate March 26, 2007 at 11:42 am

    What an adorable design!!! Are Plans for this house available???

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