1% Habitat for Humanity

February 9, 2016

Habitat for Humanity reached out to Public Architecture to explore how they could better engage the design community to improve the design and construction process for their 1400 affiliates across the country. Seeing their request as an opportunity to advocate for quality design as a mechanism to further Habitat’s mission, Public Architecture matched a select group of architecture firms, recognized for their residential design excellence and commitment to public service, to work with Habitat for Humanity. Habitat affiliates were selected to participate based on their building track record and enthusiasm to partner with designers to bring innovation to their plans. Participating architects and affiliates include:

el dorado Inc., Kansas City, MO, partnered with Heartland Habitat for Humanity in Kansas City, KS to create a plan that gives options to achieve goals in sustainability and accessibility using low-tech strategies.

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Mack Scogin Merrill Elam (MSME) Architects, Atlanta, GA completed a project with Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where homes need to meet 150 mph wind and flood conditions, and still be accessible.

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Vincent James Associates Architects (VJAA), Minneapolis, MN, partnered with Habitat for Humanity Detroit to attract families back to an older infill neighborhood that is long suffering from vacancies and blight.

• Other firms selected were Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) and Min | Day.

Through the generous support of Formica and their commitment to advance the dialogue of sustainable affordable housing, the teams were challenged to design and build a home that exceeds Habitat’s typical standards. The projects responded to the need for flexible and accessible space as family sizes grow and more generations live under the same roof. In the end, each project addresses different social and contextual challenges as well as the affiliate’s own design and building standards. Public Architecture is excited to share the outcome, the partners’ experiences, and the built projects that raise the bar of sustainable and affordable housing.

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