Challenged with the prospect of creating an affordable, adaptable, and accessible single family home in a prideful neighborhood under redevelopment, Greenboy Design aims to bring a contemporary, sustainable solution to Broadmoor Louisiana's historic neighborhood. The narrow rectangular residence calls back directly to the shotgun layouts of New Orleans' past with aspects both eclectic in look and affordable in today's construction market. The front facade opens directly to the surrounding neighborhood. An integrated ramp and stair system quickly brings the owner and visitors to the side entry where the structure splits through the center of the East and West elevations creating an inviting side patio.
Opportunities brought on by the controlled fracture in the floor plan include the introduction of native fauna to the rear of the living space creating a much needed connection to the land within an elevated floor plan.
The minimum 7'-0" elevated deck is raised to 8'-0" to allow for shaded occupiable area surrounded by garden space and parking below the structure. Specific consideration was given to minimizing the structure's coverage of the site to increase permeability and promote onsite drainage. Hard surfaces are made up of a separated paver system giving an avenue for direct absorption into the soil. Rainfall water mitigation from the roof is dispersed within the sites boundaries watering landscaping away from the structure's foundation through a minimal network of subterranean perforated piping.
Site landscaping sets out to make the most of a minimal budget. Deciduous trees are located on the east and west which has full foliage in summer to block out the direct heat gain from the sun. Deciduous trees which lose their leaves in the winter are utilized in the north to block the cold northern winds. Fruit bearing fauna will be used wherever it coincides with passive techniques to inspire community and sustainable food harvesting. Local flora is also utilized as ground cover and even integrated into the architecture through a woven wire mesh screen. The flora's overall goal is to bring color to the site, creating a space full of rejuvenation. Portulaca are drought tolerant plants with colors that include orange, red, white, yellow pink, salmon, and lavender. Cockscomes need full sun and are more tolerant in pour soil than other bedding plants. Flower forms include feathers, spikes, plumes, and crested. Flower colors include red, pink, yellow, and orange. Begonias are one of the more popular bedding plants in LA. They can perform well in full sun or shaded areas. Flower colors include red, white, and pink. Pansies are brought in as a full season bedding plant. They strive best in full sun. Native ardisa ground cover is used in lieu of conventional turf to combat termite infestation and avoid unnecessary water wastage.
Circulation from street to interior was carefully considered during planning phases. Accessible routes are combined with standard circulation in a way that allows all entrants the most direct route possible. Great care is taken to create connections from the house to all parts of the property. The house's largest covered patio becomes an extension of the interior living space providing an extension to the public space while also providing a connection to the neighborhood. The rear patio provides an exterior extension of the master bedroom while also giving an abbreviated route to the backyard from the back of the house.
Passive design concepts were incorporated wherever possible. A rigorous analysis of local wind patterns revealed the need to accept winds from the South as well as the NW. Although predominant wind direction is from the South, the gridded pattern of the parcels blocks most of the wind. Therefore, passive ventilation was designed to draw air from the cool air below the structure.
Providing a high degree of glazing insulation and a tight wall system coupled with window operability proved to be the best solution to allow occupants to attain the greatest amount of comfort passively. The structure as a whole is insulated beyond code compliance to reduce thermal gains and drains first. Then, the ability to ventilate is added making a high level of comfort a possibility throughout most of the year. With a fully functioning passively ventilated plan, the conditioned space is scaled back to a minimum, significantly lessening the structure's electrical loads. The house is divided up into 2 thermally divided zones which allows the residence's sleeping quarters the ability to be comfortable under the worst summer and winter conditions.
The floor plan was streamlined into modules of whole feet creating an easily constructable building envelope. Standard construction panel sizes were taken into account while laying out the structural grid. Perimeter post locations on the residence were adjusted and plate heights were set at nominal lengths to minimize the amount of cuts needed to frame and sheath the structure.
Hurricane straps and tie downs are incorporated to ensure a structurally stable envelope in the event of another natural wind event. Windows are equipped with operable storm shutters that lock in place and slide between open and closed positions. The structure's guiding rails become an architectural accent for the facade.
In an effort to provide future owners with a level of customization, the residence will be offered with options. These options will both begin to offer a unique sense of place within the neighborhood, and let the design adapt to the client's original desires. One such option considers the fact that not all residents will be capable of traveling up 96 feet of ramp every time they wish to come home. For these owner's a lift alternative is offered for convenience.
Since educated owners are a necessity in a passive environment, careful depiction of all of the building's green features will be developed once construction has begun. At the conclusion of construction, a project representative will be on hand to give the owner and their families a tour of their new residence along with an explanation of operation the facilities with particular emphasis on ventilation strategies and predominant wind patterns.