A Sustainable Affordable House
Draft House was originally developed as an entry in the HOME House Project Competition. The challenge was to provide new designs for single family housing for low-and moderate-income families using Habitat for Humanity’s basic three-and-four bedroom house as a point of departure. The departure was to make the house passively heated and cooled. Draft House responds to and is delineated by its ecological and economic community. Our proposal suggests an adjusted definition of “site”, which accounts for more than the house’s 60’ x 150’ plot of land. Physical (biological), social, and financial forces all participate in shaping the house, sometimes pulling it in disparate directions.
Not only does “Draft House” respond to its physical location and surrounding natural systems (sun angles, winds, seasons, etc.), it also reacts to its economic environment (efficient spatial zoning, realistic material selections and construction systems, and innovative financing techniques), which leads ultimately to affordability. Our intent is to passively respond to green (environmental) issues as well as green (monetary) issues to guide a design process. By “passive”, we mean that no single agenda drives the design alone. Instead the house exists at the intersection of multiple flows, navigating and responding to the effects of simultaneous pushes and pulls.
We feel the potential short-term success and ultimate failure of projects like Draft House lie in the reality that a short competition does not address the root of the problem; the economic realities that necessitate an affordable housing competition and the relative inability of “green” projects to gain mainstream momentum. “Draft House” occupies a middle ground, which simultaneously negotiates the disparate realities of buying, constructing, economically operating, and ultimately, responsibly living in a home. Plans of this project were made available for purchase through the home-house plan company Hometta. The project was listed for purchase from 2008-2015.
SECCA, Winston Salem, NC
University of North Texas Art Gallery at Denton
Contemporary Art Center of Virginia
Neighborhood Housing Services of Asheville,
Baltimore’s Center for Visual Art and Culture
University of Maryland
El Paso Museum of Art
Fredrick R. Weisman Art Museum
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
Plains Art Museum, Fargo
Cleveland Institute of Art
New York School of Interior Design
Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings.
HOME House Project
MIT Press - 2004