While the mini-homes are designed to be compact, simple, and minimal, each home contains all the spaces and amenities to support a healthy, independent, and dignified lifestyle. This includes a private entry porch, a living area, a sleeping area, a kitchen, and a bathroom with a shower. Plenty of windows provide ample daylight and views, while maintaining privacy.
The mini-homes are organized into five duplexes facing an internal courtyard ringed with walkways and containing a lawn, ornamental landscape, and food garden beds. A Common Building includes a generous meeting room with a kitchen, a laundry room, and a shared, secure bike storage room. Two sheltered gazebos and multiple benches throughout the community offer ample places to relax and interact year-round.
The buildings' design is based on material and construction efficiency, incorporating simple forms, modular dimensions, standard detailing, off-the-shelf components, and durable finishes. The roofs are made with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) that are prefabricated off-site, installed rapidly, and help reduce labor, time, and cost.
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The SIPs provide a superior insulated envelope, while windows bring in plenty of daylight – all helping to reduce energy usage. Landscaped swales allow rainwater to percolate into the ground. The Common Building’s roof is designed to accommodate a solar PV array, and collect rainwater for irrigation. The most sustainable feature of the project is the homes’ size, which is “among the most important determinants of environmental impact” (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 2010). The small footprints and compact design will save resources during construction, and throughout the building's lifecycle.