Welcome to Empowerhouse Market Appeal. Empowerhouse
unites a group of students from Parsons, Milano and Stevens to design a new model of affordable,
healthy, site net-zero housing for Habitat for Humanity. The Empowerhouse team worked
in partnership with the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development and Habitat
for Humanity of Washington D.C. a volunteer-led organization that works affordable, energy
and resource-efficient homes for people in need. Empowerhouse is an 850 square foot contemporary
home that is a passive house which embodies today’s highest energy standard in building
construction. After the competition, Empowerhouse will move to the historical Deanwood neighborhood
and become a real home for a family chosen by Habitat. Empowerhouse is designed for a
single parent family with one or two children. The family must have a low annual income of
less than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), and be ready to help build their home or another
Habitat home. Empowerhouse is constructed under $250,000. This enables the homeowner
to have an affordable $700 monthly mortgage payments and annual energy savings. But this
is no ordinary Habitat house; as a catalyst in the neighborhood,this family will become
community leaders in environmental stewardship. Empowerhouse building methods and details
are simple and designed to be built by Habitat’s volunteer workforce. The construction materials
are health certified readily available nation-wide, and have recycled contents where possible.
It is built to conserve energy and reduces the site primary energy demand for heating
and cooling, domestic hot water and household electrical by 80%. A carefully scaled photovoltaic
array complimented by a green roof module system brings the house to site net-zero housing.
Empowerhouse emphasizes community and family living. The large front porch integrates the
house in the neighborhood and serves as a place where family can interact with their
neighbors and community. From the entry area the house opens up into
a generous kitchen and living space that is well lit with large south-facing windows.
This is a central space for social and family interaction. The kitchen includes recycling
and composting and features an island for entertaining friends and family. From here
parents can overlook the family’s vegetable garden and watch their children play on the
back porch. The unique sky oriented loft brings natural light into the center of the home
and is a multi-functional space with built-in storage and amenities. The bedroom is a fun
and intimate space for a child and provides ample storage. A constant supply of fresh
air maintains an interior air quality of the highest standards. Water efficient low flow
fixtures significantly reduce water consumption throughout the house. Easy-to-use displays
empower the family to control their environment while monitoring their energy usage. Better
building practices provide for long term sustainability as well as immediate savings for the homeowner.
Empowerhouse unites high-performance building strategies and cost efficiency to create a
model of affordable, healthy, site net-zero housing.