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Design Development

2017 -

This prototype for a zero net energy affordable duplex proposes the combination of a unique organizational strategy with the use of cross-laminated timber to create a new model of affordable housing centered around ideas of ownership, generosity and sustainability. The layout places a highly flexible common living area above an efficiently planned first floor, allowing evolving family, living, and working arrangements to take advantage of the open layout as much as possible without sacrificing the privacy of individual inhabitants. The openness is made possible through the use of cross-laminated timber, which allows longer spans than traditional wood framing and creates a naturally efficient thermal enclosure.

The two units may be arranged in a variety of combinations depending on the available site. The arrangement shown here for a sloped site forms a shared courtyard between the two units that creates the opportunity for sociability between the two families and the neighborhood at large. An alternative configuration for a flat site places the two units side by side with a shared entry portal flanked by street-facing balconies on either side. Each configuration plays with subtly idiosyncratic symmetries that respond to the inherent constraints of the type.

The project is currently under development.

Project team: Po-Ming Chou
Structural Engineer: Brett Schneider, Guy Nordenson and Associates
Energy Consulting: Jeff Geisinger
Mechanical Engineer: Mike Duclos

Competition First Place