2016 National DiscoverDesign Competition - c.france's Competition Project

2016 National DiscoverDesign Competition: Design an affordable housing prototype

Define the Problem

With the current average income of Las Vegas, Nevada, many houses are unaffordable to those making under $51,000 a year. My goal in the development of this housing unit is to provide median income families with a house that not only fits within their budget, but is something they can be proud of and comfortable living in as well.

Collect Info

I researched a wide variety of sites keeping in mind that my goal in the development of this project was to design a family friendly home. However, I struggled to find an affordable area located near educational facilities and with a crime rate lower than 6/10 (Vegas, am I right?).

Upon further research and traversal of the city, I came across a parcel of land that could be subdivided into a neighborhood. Corbett and Butler, a 2 acre lot, is located in the vicinity of several educational, retail, and restaurant facilities. Additionally, given its location, this site is relatively affordable, has an extremely low crime rate, and has a great deal of accessibility to schools within the area (within 5 miles away).

(My apologies for the lack of pictures, most of the links in this category are data based.)

Brainstorm Ideas

For raising a family, I consider the area in which the kids will grow up to be just as important as the house. I designated my site to be just off of Corbett and Butler, a neighborhood that provides a number of benefits to the residents. For parents and their children, both Dean Allen Elementary School and Northwest Career and Technical Academy are just within miles of the site, and would provide a low impact means of transportation between home and school. Corbett and Butler Street is also located very closely to the Centennial Retail Center, and since Retail and Restaurant services are among the top hiring jobs in Las Vegas, if needed, parents could be employed close to home.

In terms of the house itself, I plan to stick with a floor-plan that provides easy access to all points of the home, and opens up the space to make it feel larger psychologically than in reality (see sketches below). A small home is necessary to fall within the budget provided, but I hope to incorporate several bedrooms as well in order to promote the growth of a family.

Develop Solutions

I found that SIPs (structural insulated panels) and Metal Roofing are two systems that could greatly improve the overall energy efficiency and quality of my building as well. Although both require a larger initial build cost, they save thousands of dollars over time by retaining heat and cooling. Additionally, laminate flooring and countertops are both inexpensive solutions to very expensive necessities. For their price, both are aesthetically pleasing, durable, low maintenance, and long lasting in comparison to their more expensive counterparts, and provide consumers with a less costly form of quality.

Final Design

My original goal in the development of this home was to provide median income families with a house that not only fits within their budget, but is something they can be proud of and comfortable living in as well. By taking advantage of cheaper material alternatives and creating an open, central design, I feel that I have accomplished this. Although the SIPs and Metal Roofing I've used would cost more to integrate initially, in terms of power, they are huge energy and money savers and would provide the family with a long lasting, durable, low maintenance structure.

I've also chosen an area that's located near educational, retail, and restaurant facilities in a neighborhood with a very low crime rate. I hope that in selecting this, any parents that dream of having a family will, one day, have the opportunity to do so, and know their children are safe.


danielakramer 7 years ago
I love how there's a curtain wall for natural lighting and I also like the emphasis that's being done upon the master bathroom; i like the colors and the scheme for the bathroom and the house. I believe it goes really well with the design and the type of the house.
marshall.h 7 years ago
I think that your master bedroom should have been moved to the back of the house and bring the other 2 bedrooms to the front, in order to give your master bedroom more privacy from people and cars on the street.
c.france marshall.h 7 years ago
My goal in the addition of the curtain wall in the front of the bedroom was to provide natural light and an open view. If the owners of the property desired a more private environment, window curtains or other forms of privacy covers could be easily added.
marshall.h 7 years ago
Also I think that if 3 bedrooms are going to share one bathroom, then that one bedroom should a separate area for the sinks and the shower/toilet area so that multiple people can your the bathroom at once, thus making your bathroom more functional for more people
c.france marshall.h 7 years ago
Being this is an affordable construction, some compromises had to made in order to maintain the low-cost of the home. As much as I would have liked to add additional commodities in the bathroom, it would have compromised the initial goal of the project.
trevor.w 7 years ago
It's evident you've put a lot of time and research into this project, and I think the house looks absolutely amazing, thumbs up dude!
trevor.w 7 years ago
It's evident you've put a lot of time and research into this project, and I think the house looks absolutely amazing, thumbs up dude!
DZiems 7 years ago
This design is phenomenal, C.France. I liked most the actual number figures you put to give the house a real cost. Your justification behind the higher price is genuine and convincing. The design looks detailed, beautiful, and professional. In its use of space, use of materials, and clear research into the surrounding area, I think your design exceeds the contest's requests. The life cycle of your house, especially due to materials like your metal roof, makes for realistic projections of costs that will keep the house very reliable and livable (and with good resale), over the life of its use, which I think you did a great job evaluating. The floor plan shows good accommodation to multiple client types, but a family works best. The target toward families works perfectly because the house is so designed to be so reliable. Very impressive!
Competition Jury 7 years ago
Kerl Lajeune - A very modest design that looks affordable. Nothing ambitious but very traditional and very contextual to the region it is located. I like the simplicity of your solution and having a region with little crime, as you have written, offers great opportunities to expand on what the design can offer.
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