The goal of the design for all OregonBILDS houses is to elegantly employ simple, common materials to accommodate the lives of the first-time homebuyers who will occupy the houses. Beauty, simplicity, efficiency, and affordability are all emphasized. Energy efficiency is a high priority because of its long-term effect on the cost of living of the occupants.

Previous Design Outcomes

The program for the houses was developed in concert with NEDCO, a local non-profit that prepares prospective first-time buyers for home-ownership. The first three houses had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a single-car garage, laundry facilities, an entry room, and a large front porch. They ranged from 1,280 to 1,400 square feet. The following two houses were 1,088 and 1,216 square feet with only two bedrooms but included expansion space within a completed but unfinished envelope.

Collaborative Studio Design Process

Each design has been developed in an architecture design studio in which approximately 15 students collaborate. At the beginning of the studio, there are 15 designs, but by the end, there is one. Students work together to integrate spatial relationships, construction, building codes, and energy efficiency. Many components of the design are mocked up full-scale.

Toward the end of the term, students begin to finalize their ideas. By the end of the term, students produce a set of construction documents that can be used to obtain a building permit and construct the house at the site.