Work: Global Green Modular Housing
Sustainable design improves lives across a wide range of environmental, economic, and social situations. This project utilizes smart planning and design by reinventing time-proven New Orleans building and landscape models. Interpreting the effective principles and proportions of the city's revered shotgun houses, we offer an economical, flexible, sustainable new typology for New Orleans: the shotgunLOFT. Seen from the levee, a jazz-like vibrancy is achieved by the alternating linear modulars of the program.
The shotgunLOFT studios and 1 to 3 bedroom units combine open loft living space with pre-fabricated bathroom and kitchen cores. Common sense approaches include the use of regional, renewable and recycled materials (telephone poles, southern pine, bamboo screens and floors, recycled wood wall panels) and passive design (through cross-unit and chimney-effect cooling, deep porch shading, alternating green and PV-panel shaded roofs) to reduce energy needed for heating and cooling (which helps preserve natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions). Corrugated galvanized siding—made from local, post-Katrina recycled steel—references the riverfront's industrial landscape.
Windows, waterproofing, insulation, air barriers and finishes are prefabricated off-site to insure a tight and efficient building envelope (a practical and important aspect to low-energy consumption construction). Roof water collection feeds a garden that includes a bio-retention pond for treatment of grey water and storm run-off. Permeable paving is used for walkways and parking, which is divided into three areas to lower heat mass.
Maximum density is achieved with a 12-unit shotgunLOFT typology with Mississippi River views and efficient floor plans. Density minimizes the exterior exposure of the units thus conserving materials and energy. The building is lifted four feet off the ground for ventilation and positive airflow. In contrast to the riverfront elevation, the northeast garden-facing elevation is a vertical stacking of porches and decks with shared stairways covered by lush vines that utilize storm water runoff. The porches are outfitted with a dual-protection shuttering system for the hurricane season and southern shading.
All units have multiple outdoor spaces as well as a communal area. A deep private porch, vegetable gardens, a fruit-bearing orchard are all living/active symbols of cultivation and renewal. Our ShotgunLOFTs are a pragmatic, sustainable, efficient model in terms of its architecture, site planning, and economics. A modular designed for Global Green, and New Orleans, but could be adapted and employed in other parts of the World with real (and immediate) needs for mass housing that is easily-maintained, high-quality design, affordable, and sustainable.