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Habitat Trails is a green affordable neighborhood development consisting of 17 Habitat for Humanity homes. The site is designed as a sponge to work in accord with existing hydrological drainage, catchment, and recharge patterns. Stormwater runoff is retained and treated through a contiguous network of bioswales, infiltration trenches, stormwater gardens, sediment filter strips, and a constructed wet meadow. The integration of a treatment landscape with open space substitutes an ecologically-based stormwater management system for the expensive curb-gutter-pipe solution in civil infrastructure.
Habitat Trails is a residential Low Impact Development (LID) consisting of 17 dwelling units for a nonprofit affordable housing provider committed to detached housing. Consisting of single-family detached homes and duplexes, the average unit size is 1,100 square feet with construction costs of $60 sq ft. The five-acre development incorporates LID technologies and a range of conservation planning strategies supportive of unit clustering that preserves one-third of the site as commonly held open space. Since the housing provider’s traditional approach has developed one home at a time through volunteer labor, the project’s goals are to: 1) establish new scales of affordability through implementation of green neighborhood infrastructure, 2) inflect municipal codes to allow for LID technologies, and 3) offer high value, integrated residential solutions to underserved populations and their surrounding communities.
LID is an ecologically-based development model, emphasizing regenerative design in site planning. Regenerative design employs technologies for restoring water quality impacted from urban stormwater runoff, and for protecting critical ecological services in urban systems. Urban stormwater runoff is not only the costliest management service provided by road infrastructure, but is also the single greatest cause of nonpoint source pollution in watersheds. A water treatment infrastructure organizes neighborhood open space, including bioswales, infiltration trenches, sediment filter strips, green streets, and a wet meadow. Habitat Trails integrates LID site design with environmentally passive strategies in architectural design. Planning and interdisciplinary processes are managed through a residential Regenerative Development Transect, leveraging urban and ecological services latent in the house, porch, yard, street, and open space.
LID infrastructure substitutes a biologically based treatment network for civil infrastructure, eliminating curb-and-gutter, catchments, and pipes. Road costs have been reduced from $450/linear foot to $250/linear foot and LID infrastructure – unlike its civil counterpart – experienced no pooling during a 50-year storm event. The city of Rogers sits in the Ozark Plateau, a temperate and humid climate. The site sits on a clay pan, a major factor in the detailing of LID technologies.
urban design, low impact development, smart growth, ecological engineering, architecture, neighborhood development
Architectural Engineering | Environmental Design | Landscape Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning | Urban Studies and Planning
2008 IRWP Golden Paddle
2008 AIA Honor Award
2007 CNU Charter Award
2007 NCARB Prize
2007 ACSA/AIA Award
2006 AR AIA Award
2006 NSF Finalist
2006 ASLA Honor Award
2006 AIA Education Honor Award
2006 EDRA/Places Award
Community Design Center, "Habitat Trails . . . a manual for affordable green neighborhood development" (2005). Project Reports. 2.