DESIGNhabitat Affordable Home Design

[Photo: DESIGNhabitat's first house in Alabama.]
DESIGNhabitat's first Alabama house, in Opelika, is attractive, energy efficient and cost effective.

The Alabama Association of Habitat Affiliates teamed up with Design Alabama and the Auburn Architecture School to develop a set of designs for Habitat houses. DESIGNhabitat ( grew from this partnership as Auburn students studied Alabama vernacular architecture to come up with designs that were appropriate for infill in older neighborhoods, cost effective and energy efficient. They developed a portfolio of four designs for a range of housing sizes. These attractive homes can be built for about the same cost as a typical Habitat house and yet have significant life cycle and monthly cost savings.

  • Their energy efficiency allows healthful fresh air ventilation and earned the home Alabama's first EPA "Energy Star" rating. Energy efficiency saves hundreds of dollars each year and allows a low-income person to afford a better quality home.
  • Life cycle innovations include the use of concrete siding, which is more durable than vinyl and requires less maintenance than pressboard, and metal roofing, which outlasts asphalt shingles by decades. Both enable owners to reduce their costs of ownership over the long run.

Content Archived: July 11, 2011