2011 Recipient | AIA Housing Awards

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100K Houses | Notes of Interest

The client’s program required a replicable framework of design and construction that would afford lifestyle options, small but efficient layouts, super energy performance, and remain extremely cost effective. The approach provides affordable starter-homes that take advantage of Philadelphia’s abundance of well-located, vacant lots. All of the homes are designed to meet Energy Star, LEED for Homes, and in some cases Passivhaus standards.

These production homes were conceived as new housing for a new generation of young, green-minded, reurbanizing homebuyers. Small, efficient, and super-green, these homes provide new, sustainable, affordable, market-place options.

Three key goals were taken into account: "small," "simple and flat," and "super green." The team was inspired to keep the structures small, feeling that the average single-family home in the U.S. has ballooned in size over the past few decades. Feeling that oversized homes are largely the result of cheap materials, poor-quality design, and unrealistic economic expectations, the team kept in mind that "small is the new normal."

As to simplicity, the architecture team places a major value on efficient, cost-effective construction and exploits that position for design opportunities. These homes riff on simple materials and flush facades, employing texture, pattern and color as low-cost, high-impact treatments.

Last but not least is the focus on keeping the project super green. These homes all employ a passive strategy focused on envelope rather than systems. This strategy yielded LEED for Homes Platinum certification and a HERS ratings between 42 and 24 (performing 58% to 76% better than homes designed to baseline energy code)

Additional Credits

  • Landscape Architect: Studio Bryan Hanes of Philadelphia
  • Structural Engineering: Larsen & Landis Consulting Engineers of Philadelphia
  • Photo Credit: © Interface Studios Architects

100K Houses

Jury Comments

A noble goal and an admirable result.

This project is exciting for the future, in that it shows tremendous promise for replication and range of context.

This idea reminds and underlines that the key component of sustainability is affordability.

2011 AIA Housing Awards Jury

  • 2010 Chancellor:
  • Edward J. Kodet, Jr., FAIA
  • Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd.
  • Minneapolis
  • 2010 Vice Chancellor:
  • Chester A. Widom, FAIA
  • WWCOT Architecture & Interiors
  • Santa Monica, Calif.
  • 2010 Bursar:
  • Norman L. Koonce, FAIA
  • McLean, Va.
  • Secretary:
  • Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA, FACHA
  • HKS, Inc.
  • Dallas
  • 2011 Incoming Bursar:
  • William J. Stanley, FAIA
  • Stanley Love-Stanley, PC
  • Atlanta

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