Inspired by the traditional American row house, this collection of gleaming white gable roof homes is part of the new wave of sustainable design in Houston. Designed and built by Matthew and Tina Ford through their company Shade House Development, the Row on 25th is currently a series of five houses, but it will soon be expanded to nine. A simple and clean layout, coupled with economies of scale in building lowered the costs of building down to around $170 per square foot. They also included a number of energy-efficient strategies, like daylighting, to lower AC costs in the hot and humid climate of southeast Texas.
Located in the trending Houston Heights downtown neighborhood, Row on 25th is a collection of five rentable homes. Soon there will be 4 more homes for a total of 9, all inspired by the symmetrical silhouettes inspired by Hugh Newell Jacobsen. Each two-story home is about 1,900 square feet with a open floor plan kitchen and dining room next to the living room on the ground floor. Upstairs are two-bedrooms and a master suite. The efficient use of space, the large ceiling heights and the brilliant white walls make these homes feel huge. Meanwhile large custom windows provide ample daylighting and the open and flexible spaces allow the residents to customize their home as they see fit.
To complete the project and keep costs low, Matthew and Tina Ford of Shade House Development relied on the principle of economies of scale. By building 9 homes rather than just a few, they were able to work with wholesalers and builders to get better prices. Lots of custom windows instead of one or two meant they could make them for less. The interior is modern with clean lines without extra details like unnecessary trim, which also helped reduce labor and material costs. Air conditioning in Houston is a requirement, but the Fords wanted to lower energy costs as much as possible. To achieve this they installed radiant barrier house wrap on the roofs before adding heat reflecting shingles to minimize solar heat gain. The ducts were installed in the basement rather than the roof to keep the cool in the house. The houses are are leased for $2,850 per month.
Images ©Shade House Development