The form of Empowerhouse was designed for transportation and replicability, while the details were designed for ease of construction for volunteer labor. Habitat for Humanity of Washington D.C. and other chapters nationwide will benefit from this approach. Empowerhouse is a replicable model that aims to change the way affordable housing is built in America.
LIVING ‘DRY’ MODULE
The bedroom, light loft, and living room are aligned on the west side of the home in the Dry Module. These spaces feel open and airy with many windows providing light from the West.
SERVICE ‘WET’ MODULE
The mechanical room, bathroom and kitchen anchor the house in the east, in the Wet Module. Grouping these spaces allows a more compact mechanical system, and necessitates fewer connections to be made when bringing the two modules together.
The front and rear doors align between the two modules, drawing people through the home and connecting them to the backyard.
The thick envelope that wraps the home is an easily constructible but unique system with engineered wood I-joists that are sandwhiched between sheathing, creating a 12” cavity that is filled with blown in cellulose.
Materials were selected according to a series of criteria including: affordability, green certification, embodied energy, non-toxicity, livability, constructability, and overall environmental impact. Meeting these criteria ensures Empowerhouse is an affordable, buildable home, with healthy indoor air quality.
Low-embodied energy materials that are non-toxic and locally sourced were used whenever available & economically feasible.
The ReBox is a modular Furniture system design that allows the user to reorganise their belongings around the house. A modular furniture system molded to suit the needs of an environmentally conscious household, individual units are able to stack, fit, and slide into multiple arrangements to allow horizontal and vertical storage.
The interaction between the user and the flexibility of the product is what makes the ReBox system so unique and versatile. In addition, the conscious selection of materials including the environmentally friendly glues for assembly, formaldehyde free products and efficient joinery reduce the environmental impact of the product by producing as less waste as possible and also keeping labour costs to a minimal.