A Low Impact Woodland Home

Head over and check out A Low Impact Woodland Home — a beautifully crafted, organic, environmentally friendly house in Wales. Its approach to green building is about as far from LEED as you can get. Imagine how it would be to live in a house you had designed and built yourself, in four months, for only $5,000? In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to …

The Trace gets all dressed up

Jamie Morton from Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast has taken some wonderful photos of The Trace, a 28-unit development built by Habitat in partnership with the GCCDS. The photographs show off the coastal architecture and excellent landscaping that help make this an extraordinary neighborhood. (See the full set on Flickr.)

Patty’s house is LEED Certified

Back in April, I finally wrapped up the process of getting Patty’s house LEED-certified. Today, the LEED certificate arrived in the mail. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a national third-party certification system for energy efficient, healthy, green homes. Aside from a large LEED-certified development at nearby Keesler Air Force Base, this is the first LEED-certified house in Mississippi.

GCCDS Submittal for 2009 AIA-MS Design Awards

One of my ongoing projects, Patty’s house, is the GCCDS’s entry in the AIA Mississippi 2009 Design Awards. Sponsored by the Mississippi chapter of the American Institute of Architects, The AIA Mississippi Design Awards Program seeks to encourage excellence and elevate the quality of architecture by recognizing and honoring works of distinction by its members and bring to public attention outstanding examples of architecture and design. Although I came into the project after the initial design process, I’ve worked a lot on Patty’s house and on its LEED certification, and it’s very satisfying to document the project and submit it …

Carmen’s Dedication

This morning, Hope Force held a dedication for Carmen’s house, which I have been working on over the past year. Thanks to their hard work and the work of Christian Aid Ministries, the house has turned out very well. Carmen, her husband Clarence, and their children are very happy! The house has a ramp that zig-zags up to a wide front porch, a spacious living room with an adjacent kitchen, and a hallway that leads to the three bedrooms and two bathrooms. See more photos from the dedication on Flickr [19 photos].

The Trace – Building a Neighborhood

My updating has not kept up with the progress on The Trace. This is the 28-house Habitat for Humanity neighborhood that Kristen, Sam, Nadene, and I worked on from August through November of last year. Thanks to the effort Habitat has put in over the last nine months, the neighborhood is nearly complete. All it needs is some landscaping work and, of course, people! The certificates of occupancy have been delayed while Habitat waits for the City of Long Beach to approve the neighborhood plat, so nobody has moved in yet, but twelve families have already been selected for houses …

A House for Carmen, 3

Carmen’s house has made immense progress in the past week. Two groups are currently working on it; Christian Aid Ministries, the group that framed the house, is currently building the ramp and finishing the siding and exterior, while Hope Force is sheetrocking the interior at a rapid pace. They expect to be painting the interior and exterior by next week.

A Tale of Two Houses

Here’s a look at my two active house projects, one under construction and the other in the early design phase. The first, Carmen’s house, has finally been started by a wonderful volunteer group called Christian Aid Ministries. Their construction team has made quick progress; since the piles were driven about two weeks ago, they have already framed the floor, walls, and most of the roof. Carmen and her husband are thrilled to see their house going up after many months of delays.

Dec. 2-6 Building at The Trace

Edit [12/26/08]: See these photos and more at my Flickr page. The main (only?) advantage of unemployment being the ability to do whatever you like, I spent last week building at The Trace. I worked on a 3-bedroom house called the Cypress. Thanks to the leadership of construction supervisors Bryce and Austin, an enthusiastic college group from Ohio, and a mix of other volunteers, we started from a slab and raised the walls, built the porch, and set about half of the roof trusses within the week. Here’s the Ohio group: The project is moving quickly. In the past 4-6 …

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 …