Affordable Green, Clean Housing
Greener, Cleaner Affordable Housing
We began with applying green building methods to bring the project above and beyond energy-use standards. The design continues with clean home elements for the health and well-being of residents. Our livability solutions also compliment the neighborhood development plans—preserving the unique character of the area while providing modernized affordable dwelling units.
Green building has its own inherent architecture, we have endeavored to follow that philosophy throughout. Greening the project begins with designing dwellings that use far less energy. We are planning the design and building of this project to meet current energy standards and surpass them using practical green building methods. Approximately 50% of the dwelling units will utilize passive solar, making the most of sunlight in the winter and shading from it in the summer, simply through building reorientation and designing the overhangs to protect the windows during the high heat of summer.
Overall this project is designed with advanced framing to provide the best envelope possible, reducing the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling. The design is all stucco exterior. HRVs, air handling units, will circulate air—an important inclusion in a nearly air-tight dwelling.
R5 rigid foam insulation on perimeter will be added to eliminate/diminish thermal break heat loss.* Stucco is a concrete product—abundant, reduces wood use, low maintenance, seals the building very effectively, and adds to the insulation performance. This will improve the overall air exchange rate along with the perimeter R5 rigid insulation. The dwelling units will be painted with Zero-VOC paint, with a consistent color scheme that creates continuity and character. Wood accents such as the balcony party wall and the lower facia are included in the design.
*A thermal break happens as heat is conducted through typical stick frame construction everyplace a 2x4 meets a wood-paneled outer wall.
Several of the energy efficiency upgrades also meet clean home standards. These include replacing the crawl space with a slab-on-grade foundation. This approach reduces the energy loss common in new development, reduces space for rodent intrusion and reduces the potential for mold. This foundation solution includes thermal heat in the floors. We are eliminating the HVAC and using mini-split heating and cooling. This cuts the need for regularly changing air filters which circulate dust, other particulates and VOCs if left too long. This design choice aligns with the American Lung Association’s concerns for clean homes and clean air to breathe, especially with the most susceptible members of our community, the elder and youngest generations.
The overall revisions offer something for every age group in our community. In respecting neighborhood concerns, such as privacy, the design includes balconies that all face to the East or West with landscape buffering. Neighboring properties will not be able to see the balconies. For residents we have designed the bottom level to be Age-in-Place compliant. We’ve improved the parking situation by both increasing the numbers of spaces available and also providing covered parking spaces for all dwellings.
Solar powered charging stations for electric vehicles and bikes are included in the design. This is in line with the combined goals of Valley Transit, City of Boise, and the West Valley Community plans to develop biking trails and public transit. In addition to the individual dwellings’ livability we’re including an area for community. This will include a picnic table, designed with a checkerboard pattern on top, encouraging chess or checkers as a means to connect. Next to this a charcoal BBQ for gatherings. There will be an open lawn area that can accommodate different outdoor games like bocce ball, horseshoes or badminton.