The Affordable Green Home
Dominick Tringali Architects
Purpose: Create a sustainable prototype home for Habitat for Humanity that meets LEED requirements and raises the benchmark for future affordable housing.
Goal: Design and construct a prototype home for Habitat for Humanity Oakland County that incorporates sustainable building practices to reduce construction costs, reduce energy operating costs, and create a healthy living environment for a specific family. While the home is designed for a specific, multi-generational family with eleven members, it shall still serve as a prototype for future Habitat homes. Therefore, the home must include common, simple building practices that could be executed in the future by Habitat building volunteers.
Methodology: Starting with the site design, the goal is to utilize the orientation and natural features of the property to minimize the impact of the home on the site. The home was strategically placed so that no trees would be removed and to take advantage of the dense foliage to the west of the residence for shading the home during the summer and reducing air infiltration. The exterior elevations of the home have been designed with deeper roof overhangs that were determined by using solar calculations that will help to both maximize and minimize the sun exposure based on the time of year. In addition to having the deeper overhangs, authentic window canopies were added to the southern facing widows to further shade the widows and structure as well as support proper drainage from the home protecting the wall surface. The home has been designed and constructed in modular 2’/4’ dimensions to eliminate waste and decrease construction costs. We implored the use of a sealed crawl space due to the fact that the extraction of existing fill and pieces of a previous basement was required. The foundation walls were constructed with 2” of rigid insulation on each side with a with 2” rigid insulation under the crawl space slab to help reduce the transfer of cold from the soils to the floor slab. Modular building materials will also be used throughout the construction of the home. Floor trusses, roof trusses, engineered wall panels and stacked framing were all utilized to reduce cost and materials. Each of these systems has been engineered to reduce materials (walls are 2 x 4 @ 24” o.c. with 2 stud energy corners and single ply headers). The roof system has been designed with engineered roof slopes to eliminate roof sheathing waste. Windows were strategically placed in each room in addition to ceiling fans to eliminate the need for an air conditioning system. In addition, our team made an attempt to locate rooms occupied for longer periods of time along the south and west portion of the residence to take advantage of the passive solar heat gain and vegetative screening throughout the year.
Insulation and envelope sealing were placed in high regard to eliminate air infiltration and create the most energy efficient envelope possible. The entire home was caulked and sealed prior to the installation of the insulation. The wall and the attic of the residence will be insulated with “Nu-wool” insulation to minimize heat loss and air infiltration.
Finally, great care was taken to recycle any building material waste. Overall, the above mentioned includes only a small portion of the sustainable design and construction practices undertaken throughout this project. The remainder of this submittal further details these sustainable solutions.
- Single Family Housing
- LEED Certified
381 Ferry Street Pontiac MI