After surviving the catastrophe of Katrina the strong willed residents of the Broadmoor are poised for a comeback with our help. With a focus on sustainability, the design raises the standards of living for the elderly and less able residents of the Broadmoor neighborhood. This is accomplished by providing a platform lift to access the finished floor level that is above any potential flood waters keeping the occupants high and dry. The large front and side porches provide a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors and everyday life of the community while keeping true to the vernacular defines the Broadmoor neighborhood. The main living space of house is very open allowing the occupants to move unimpeded throughout the space. Following the traditional shotgun model, a single accessible corridor leads the residents to the private areas of the house and delineates the public and private spaces in the home.
The concept was to keep the project affordable as well as environmentally friendly. We started off with selecting structural insulated panels (SIPs) for the walls and roof of the home. These panels are very cost effective solution for providing high insulation values as well as a very tight building envelope with minimal air leakage. The SIPs are a major contributor to the homes LEED Platinum rating since they are constructed off site decreasing the construction time and waste leading to lower general condition costs. Hurricane impact rated glass was specified for all windows to keep resident safe from debris in any potential extreme weather conditions. The simple shed roof and trellis design helps the house provide shade and collect valuable rainwater, putting it to good use irrigating the backyard vegetable garden.
The environmentally friendly product selection continues on the interior with all energy star rated appliances and lights. The cabinets in the kitchen and the bamboo flooring are also environmentally preferred products. The Paperstone countertops specified are created in a process in which recycled paper is laminated together to provide an attractive and durable surface. All of the plumbing fixtures in the house are high efficiency, and help to conserve water. All on-site irrigation comes from a 600 gallon rainwater cistern that is designed to store rainwater runoff from 83% of the home. Overall irrigation demands of the site have been reduced by implementing drought tolerant vegetation.
Using efficient mechanical units will play a key role in keeping utility costs down. The air handler and all duct work are within the conditioned envelope which makes the distribution system more efficient with only minimal energy losses. All hot water comes from an efficient tank-less water heater located in the attic space.
In order to change the current mindset that cost effective and sustainable building is out of reach in neighborhoods like Broadmoor, there needs to be a system in place to educate the residents on green building techniques. The perspective home owner will receive an operation manual that focuses on the sustainable aspects of their new home. Contained within this manual would be all manufacturers’ manuals, information on how to maintain the installed systems, efficient ways to use energy, water, and other natural resources, and guidance about their day-to-day activities that impact the environment. Upon completion of construction, the home owner will be taken on a guided walkthrough their new home that will give them an overview of the systems and how to correctly operate them. LEED signage on the house exterior, a personalized website and articles in local newspapers will educate the Broadmoor community about their new green neighbor. The residents of the neighborhood will be invited to an open house that tours the layout and systems that make the home sustainable. Through the education on sustainability of both the home owner and the public this project will raise the standard of living in the Broadmoor neighborhood.