Twenty-two percent of Mississippi residents receive incomes that fall below the nation’s poverty line. This affordable housing prototype is designed for the 21st century and the families that will occupy it. It is a home that responds directly to the climatic conditions of the Mississippi Delta, while also responding to the families that live there.
The families that are scattered throughout the Mississippi Delta are comprised of multiple family members. It is not uncommon to see a family that consists of single parents, multiple children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.
Eastmoor Estates, a neglected subsidized neighborhood in Moorhead, Mississippi, was chosen as the site for the project.
The home is placed and oriented on the specific site in relation to the winds, rainfall, and sunlight angles. A structural gird is implemented that is appropriate for building only one room and a hallway wide, along with building techniques relating to the locally available materials and skills. This allowed for a narrow floor plate that would allow for the maximum amount of cross ventilation and natural lighting. Clearstory windows were inserted under roof soffits on the southern side, and clearstory voids were positioned above interior partitions. Visor-like overhangs and external fin like sun blades tuned to the correct length and angle were used to manage the amount of southern light coming into the building throughout the year. They allow for full sunlight to penetrate the façade in wintertime, and allow no sunlight in during the summer. The glazing in combination with the external blinds and overhangs allows the inhabitant to control how much light comes in throughout the year. The floor system is a concrete floor that acts a thermal mass, so it naturally cools the house in the summer, and heats it in winter.
Innovative active systems and insulation have been used to ensure the home leaves a small carbon footprint, as well as saving the homeowner money throughout the life of the building. These systems include wool insulation, high-density foam, hydronic radiant floor heating, led lighting, and water efficient fixtures. Even though some of these require higher upfront costs, the owner will see savings of roughly nine hundred dollars on an annual basis.
The home was designed with two zones: one for sleeping and one for living. The sleeping zone features three small bedrooms with walls that fully open up to the activated hallway where their closets are located. This idea was to encourage as much of their time as possible out of their bedroom. In contrast to the smaller areas in the sleeping zone, the living zone is completely open and free of columns. This allows for an activated family experience to fully interact with each other. This dwelling was designed to work with all types of family, seeing that the family structure is continually changing in our day and age.
Hopefully with the cooperation of the inhabitant, the logic at work will enable the dwelling to take its place in the natural environment that we are constantly invading.