The Trace, an Introduction

What has been your biggest project over the past month and a half, you ask? Why, I’ll tell you! It’s “The Trace”, a 28-house subdivision that Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast (HFHMGC) is developing in Long Beach, Mississippi.

This is the first collaboration of this kind between the GCCDS and HFHMGC, and it’s been productive for both sides. Their goal is to develop a high-quality neighborhood that’s not bland and has more appeal than a “typical” Habitat development, and we’re providing them with some architectural and planning assistance.

We have some great progress so far. Eleven different house plans, including five developed from existing Habitat plans and six developed from existing GCCDS plans. Six different color and material packages, intended to create an aesthetically pleasing and cohesive neighborhood. Improved details and material choices, including a switch from vinyl siding to fiber cement siding (a major upgrade in terms of durability and appearance).

Here’s a look at the neighborhood, as of about a month ago; site work continues, and I expect the drainage and street are coming along.

Edit [12/28/08]: See these photos and more at my Flickr page.

From the front looking towards the lower-lying back of the neighborhood:

The project team: Sam Carlsen, Kristen Zeiber, Doug Fowler from Habitat, and Nadene Mairesse meet on site.

“Framing Blitz” components stored on site and ready to be assembled:

Finally, a somewhat grainy look at the street elevation we’ve mocked up, showing some house and roof choices:

The project is moving along fast; Habitat has already begun the foundations for the first eight houses. I’ll write further about the work we’re doing. It’s an exciting new collaboration for us, hopefully the first of many.


  1. Pingback:The Trace Work Day « Design . Build . Learn . Repeat

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