100K house, Philadelphia, USA
We suffer from a lack of foresight and ambition when it comes to housing here in the UK. We have fallen far behind the continent when it comes to sustainable and green design, and the housing price rises of the last 15 years have left many first time buyers without the ability to make it onto the first run of the ladder.
It seems though, that this problem is not just here, as it is felt across the pond in the States as well. While our response is to offer first time buyers the chance to own as little as 25% of their first home, in Philadelphia, Interface Studio Architects have developed the 100K House. Designed to meet all the needs of the small family, within a budget that most could realistically afford, this is a great proof of concept. It is possible to provide high quality housing that is both kind to the environment and kind to your wallet.
The 100K Houses employ a passive strategy focused on envelope rather than systems. This strategy yielded LEED for Homes Platinum certification and HERS ratings between 42 and 24 (performing 58% to 76% better than homes designed to baseline energy code).
With its green credentials firmly established, and its price suitably low enough to make this a truly viable first home, the 100K House makes it plainly obvious that its about time UK developers and architects took note and realised that we have a real problem, and its time to address it. The rest of the world is pulling away, and we are being left behind, in our parents houses, still paying rent. Poor form indeed.