This project is a collaboration with GAP School, a skills training program that teaches young adults construction trades by having them build actual construction projects. The structures are designed to accommodate the program by using simple construction techniques, modest roof slopes, and moderate framing spans, while creating homes that meet the highest design standards. These four new single-family homes for low-income families are designed to accommodate multiple generations living under the same roof. The homes have bedrooms, bathrooms, and commons spaces on the ground floor for elderly or disabled family members. The homes are oriented on the lot to accommodate two parked cars in the driveway, leaving the adjacent public sidewalk clear for pedestrians.
Referencing Passive House design standards, passive systems include a solar chimney, window placement to promote cross ventilation, concrete mass flooring, and large south-facing windows. Since the homes themselves serve as teaching tools, the design prioritizes more labor-intensive processes over expensive materials to achieve performance efficiencies. For example, the exterior walls are a double wall with rigid insulation to illustrate construction technique, rather than using more expensive insulation materials. Simple, time-honored passive design strategies enable homeowners to easily and sustainably maintain their homes. The client is pursuing LEED v4.1 Residential Single Family Homes Platinum certification for the first home.