Houzz Tour: The 100K House Project
Efficient Design and Nontraditional Finishes Add Up to Affordable Style
In our modern world of houses that are often too big, too expensive and not very environmentally friendly, Postgreen Homes designs a house that is perfectly small, inexpensive, and energy efficient. Nic Darling, partner for the Philadelphia firm, has a refreshing look at affordable housing for those who want a sensible home that speaks directly to eco-conscious living. Read on to learn about these innovative homes and how they are revolutionizing how healthy families can live and grow.
From the outside, 100K Project homes look like small warehouses with minimal ornamentation and design. Don’t let the exterior fool you: They are filled with bright interiors, a welcoming floor plan, and an eco-conscious living environment — for $100,000 in labor and materials (see Nic's note about total cost in the comments section below).
The interiors are warm and bright. "The open floorplan and well-placed windows give the space a much brighter and bigger feel than most row homes of a similar size. We also build 9-foot 6-inch ceilings, which add to the feel of space.”
Postgreen's use of nontraditional finish materials such as plywood and concrete keeps costs down and reflects their clients' style. "We tried to create a minimalist, modern look that is well liked but generally unavailable, particularly in single family housing," Nic says. "Using an open floorplan and non-traditional finish materials, we captured a look that appealed to our demographic while also shaving down construction costs."
The 100K house's open floorplan provides a single heating and cooling zone. A radiant ground floor heats the whole house, and the single air-conditioning unit upstairs keeps it cool. Thick walls and sealing helps keep temperatures steady. "The windows also get in on the action by providing much needed solar heat gain in the winter,” he says.
“Much of what affects the homes green credentials won’t be immediately visible," Nic says. "From the highly insulated walls to the paints and finishes being picked with indoor air quality in mind, they are functionally simple homes with only a few systems requiring knowledge from our buyers and we provide that knowledge through training and documentation.”
“All of our homes but two are LEED Platinum Certified or are on their way there," Nic says. "The other two were built to the German Passive House standard." All that energy efficiency comes with some property tax breaks.
"We have built three different facades, and we are working on our fourth," Nic says. "The only real consistent requirement for these facades so far is that they use fiber cement siding. It can be placed vertically and horizontally for different aesthetics. We have painted the material and tattooed it. We like it because it is extremely durable and cost effective. We also think it looks pretty good.”
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