Text description provided by the architects. Recently, the Topeka Housing Authority received one of twelve HUD grants given nationally to incentivize innovative, sustainable design and construction within the low-income housing sector. The architect for this project was challenged to offer new insights for the duplex typology, executed at the HUD-regulated budget constraints. Additionally, as part of the HUD grant, the architect was required to meet every item outlined by the Enterprise Green Communities Checklist.
The typical duplex typologies were re-configured to provide natural cross ventilation for all major rooms of each unit. Designed with a focus on single mothers, the new configuration of duplexes creates a protected and easily supervised communal space for small children. The new duplexes also gain energy efficiency through the use of highly insulated envelope construction, fully ventilated rain screen systems, and a shared ground source heat pump system. Storm water management is achieved through planted rooftops and pervious concrete sidewalk paving. Materials containing recycled content were specified throughout the design.
The result, built for just $115 per square foot, is an energetic and optimistic re-thinking of a low-income housing typology that promotes sustainable living and a strong sense of community.