This team-based project involved creation of a sustainable residential prototype for the small town of Greensburg, Kansas. I worked on this project alongside two other architecture master’s students, and one landscape architecture masters student. Greensburg was devastated by an F5 tornado in 2007 and the entire town is currently being rebuilt from the ground up. The city officials decided to rebuild it entirely green - focusing on economic, social and environmental sustainability. We traveled to Kansas to meet with the community, Greensburg Greentown leaders, and to conduct a site visit. Our end design concepts were focused on creation of a comfortable, sustainable and adaptable environment. We created a full set of design, construction drawings and interior finish and building specs. Some of the sustainable features in the design were: On-site renewable energy in the form of wind pods taking advantage of the high Kansas winds, Advanced Framing, ADA features, flexible spaces and movable custom furniture, Energy Star appliances, eco-friendly finishes and building materials, solar shading devices and passive solar design strategies, pervious paving with an integrated native eco-system, a high velocity HVAC system, low flush toilets and a tank-less water heater. In addition, the creation of wind-sheltered outdoor rooms as extensions of the interior environment, helped to create useable outdoor spaces that are usually rarities in this geographical location. I believe visual and physical connection with outdoor spaces can help to create more enjoyable experiences and a lifestyle. This project was both challenging and rewarding!
Team: Mary Dimmick, Susan Bilo and Brandy von Kaenel