A Home by Design | University of Notre Dame

“We preferred a dwelling that was versatile but also obtainable,” stated Hernandez, who is presently pursuing a master’s diploma in education and learning by way of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education.

“It’s a more compact property, but it is expandable. Any features the loved ones needs to increase in later on, it’s possible. If they want four bedrooms by making two bedrooms downstairs, that’s an alternative.” —Naomi Hernandez

Positioned on a corner whole lot in the 500 block of Carter Courtroom, the modest but thoughtfully built 1-tale home capabilities two bedrooms and 1.5 baths, furthermore an open concept kitchen area/dining/living spot and mud/laundry space, throughout 1,000 sq. ft of dwelling house. It also capabilities two covered porches, front and back, and a detached, rear-going through, just one-automobile garage — all in the confines of a large amount which is rather narrow at 40 feet extensive and 110 toes prolonged.

With just two bedrooms, the dwelling is meant to attraction to budget-mindful prospective buyers for whom room is secondary to charge.

“This is the 1st two-bed room approach that we have developed in quite a though, and I’m pleasantly surprised by the fascination in the industry,” William reported. “We have a product or service that, I consider, will attract perhaps a single mother or father, maybe an aged few.”

The modest flooring prepare — in specific, the absence of a third or fourth bedroom — authorized for a more versatile layout, with extra open and spacious living spaces, Mellor explained. It also permitted for greater-good quality constructing products.


The interior of a carpeted bedroom with a closet and small window. To the right of the closet is a opened door that looks down a short hallway to another bedroom.

The interior of a section of the kitchen laminate wood floor flows into the carpeted living room. In the living room next to the front door is a large window with light shining in.
A partially finished basement with a staircase in the middle of the room. Part of the water heater can be seen in the right corner.
A detached garage with a concrete driveway that leads up to the garage door. A side door and concrete path leads to the back of the home.
This a person-tale residence features two bedrooms and 1.5 baths, additionally an open concept kitchen area/dining/residing region and mud/laundry space, across 1,000 square feet of living house. It also attributes two included porches, front and back again, and a detached, rear-going through, a person-car or truck garage — all within the confines of a large amount which is rather narrow at 40 toes vast and 110 feet prolonged.

“We preferred to limit the sq. footage of the developing so we could commit far more revenue on larger-high quality components and get the ground programs and the details just appropriate,” Hernandez mentioned. “So when we place two bedrooms on that 1st flooring, it made a great deal of room for the dwelling space, for the kitchen area. And then an additional very important component, and probably a person of the most critical things of the property, was the basement.”

The learners included egress home windows in the unfinished basement to accommodate two supplemental bedrooms. The basement also has house for a relatives room and a third toilet. The bathroom is already “roughed in,” or framed and plumbed, for advantage.

Hernandez described, “It’s a smaller sized household, but it’s expandable. Any amenities the family needs to increase in later, it’s probable. If they want 4 bedrooms by creating two bedrooms downstairs, that is an solution.”

Excellent and Affordability

From an accessibility standpoint, the learners designed the house with zero-move accessibility as a result of the again door from the garage and with huge hallways, doorways and walkways for aged and disabled homeowners. Hook-ups for the washer and dryer, usually in the basement, were moved to the first floor to stay clear of the stairs.

“The learners were being intrigued in not only building homes that were very affordable, but obtainable,” Mellor mentioned. “So that someone with a actual physical limitation or incapacity would be capable to use the property as properly.”

“It was genuinely significant to them that they ended up portion of this local community. That whatsoever they made felt like it was a all-natural extension of what was already there.” —John Mellor

Amid a scorching actual estate marketplace and soaring price ranges for lumber and other uncooked materials, price tag was another significant element of the style and design, centered on the problem of how to retain both excellent and affordability.

“We ended up hunting for efficiency in the structure of the dwelling and the measurement of the residence,” Mellor said. “So we appeared at examples of other Habitat Houses and other conventional models to see in which some efficiencies could be in the style and exactly where we could increase on things like that.”

In simple fact, the house was intended to be even smaller at 960 sq. ft, Mellor said. “But the code minimal in Mishawaka is 1,000,” he reported, “so we arbitrarily extra 40 sq. toes so it’s just 1,000.”

Architecturally, the house, with its warm gray vinyl siding, white trim, included front porch and gently sloping roof, matches neatly inside of the context of the subdivision, which, as with other Habitat developments, functions variations on 4 typical patterns: the basic a single-tale, the American foursquare, the colonial and the Cape Cod.

An architectural illustration of a one-story Craftsman Bungalow featuring a covered porch, light brown and green siding, and a rust orange door.
A newly built Craftsman Bungalow home with a covered porch, light brown siding and a bright blood-orange door. The home is surrounded by dirt.
The Craftsman Bungalow developed by the latest alumnae Julia Bertram, Naomi Hernandez and Nayun Hong.

According to Mellor, the students had been conscious of not coming up with everything that would clash with the bordering community.

“It was actually vital to them that they were being component of this community,” he claimed. “That what ever they intended felt like it was a organic extension of what was previously there. What they did not want to do was be form of the architect from out of city and come in and do a thing that was just erroneous, that was out of character, that would have been drawing way too a lot interest to alone.”

‘Mutual Learning’

The Fields at Highland is very substantially a standard neighborhood, with quiet streets and sidewalks and a compact park at the middle. Habitat initially created the community about four decades ago, right after becoming gifted the land by the past property operator. It was earlier a minor league park.

The 1st a number of residences had been made in a make any difference of weeks as part of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Do the job Job, which kicked off at Notre Dame. (Notre Dame Athletics and the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity also function with Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County on a frequent basis.) Since then, various a lot more Habitat homes, in addition to a small range of regular marketplace-fee homes, have been added to the neighborhood.

In typical, the Habitat households element shut flooring plans with obviously delineated living areas — one thing the pupils preferred to get away from given that, in quite a few conditions but in particular with more compact residences, shut flooring plans limit accessibility and contribute to a cramped and isolated feeling inside of the residence.

“They looked at a great deal of present property options that had lots of teeny tiny rooms and very little small doorway openings and things and made a decision, nope, we’re going to open up it up,” Mellor explained.

In carrying out so, the students labored closely with Wagner and his group to have an understanding of how conclusions made in the studio — ­Can we transfer this window? How a lot will it price? What about insulation? — would perform out on the ground.

“Having all of that awareness was so worthwhile and a little something that we really don’t see as much with a lot more theoretical initiatives,” stated Hernandez. “It manufactured the task extra serious.”

A model of a model Habitat home on top of a graduation cap. The home is yellow, with a red door and dark gray roof. The home is surrounded by green bushes.
Architecture graduate, Julia Bertram ’22, created a model of a Habitat for Humanity home for her graduation ceremony cap.
Two graduates smile during commencement holding diplomas and wearing decorated graduation caps. One cap features a model Habitat home and the other Notre Dame's South Dining Hall.
Bertram sporting her model of a Habitat for Humanity home for the duration of Notre Dame’s 177th commencement ceremony on May well 15, 2022.

“There was mutual discovering likely on,” Williams mentioned. “So not only did we get new strategies from working with the college students, but the students figured out a lot from working with us.”

For scholar Nayun Hong, who will before long be a part of an architectural agency in Atlanta, it was a valuable opportunity to understand by doing, to put concept into follow.

“I genuinely do feel that this studio well prepared me for internships and work, as I felt a ton extra self-confident about not only the abilities and classes gained from the studio, but also about implementing capabilities and lessons uncovered in former yrs in a skilled environment,” Hong said.

As an American of Korean descent, she also relished the chance to check out non-Western housing traditions, she explained, as it allowed her and her classmates to “learn from each and every other and other traditions to boost our person property designs.”

“I’ve constantly wished to integrate my Korean heritage into my architecture training and review Korean and Asian architecture,” she reported. “My classmates concentrated on other non-Western housing traditions, these as these of Africa, India, China and Japan. It was particularly important to review our research with each individual other and again to our shared comprehension of American housing traditions — to notice why certain variations exist and take notice of the similarities among the many cultures and locations.”

Bertram and Hernandez also centered on East Asia for the exploration part of the design and style studio.

“All 3 of us analyzed East Asian housing traditions, which means we all studied and were influenced in our unique patterns by some variation of feng shui,” Hong claimed, referring to the Chinese follow of arranging properties, objects and spaces to obtain stability and harmony. “These similarities were managed and mirrored in the team style and design.”

Hong also appreciated the fall seminar, with its fingers-on look at of the making procedure — as projected through the one of a kind lens of a Habitat task — and multifaceted tactic to cost-effective housing far more broadly.

“I identified the subjects and conversations really beneficial, in particular relevant to present situations and challenges in housing affordability and genuine estate progress,” she stated, adding, “It served that there have been non-architecture learners enrolled in the class, bringing in new perspectives from finance, economics and engineering and political points of see.”

Focus on Efficiency

Habitat will break ground on a next scholar-designed residence afterwards this calendar year, this just one from the spring 2022 style and design studio. The dwelling is two tales this time rather of a single, with a few bedrooms and 1.5 baths, as well as an try to eat-in kitchen. One particular mattress and tub will be positioned on the first ground for accessibility. Also for accessibility, the dwelling will characteristic zero-step accessibility by the back doorway from the detached, one-auto garage.

An architectural illustration of a two-story home featuring a covered porch. Labels and arrows point to particular details.
Tale and a 50 % Habitat house structure.

Foreseeable future style and design studios will focus more on sustainable style, Mellor said, with an emphasis on the all round “performance” of the property with regard to human overall health, consolation and the environment.

That is the notion, at least.

“Over the upcoming a few a long time, as this partnership develops, I hope we can get started to seem at some new resources and procedures, particularly all-around electrical power effectiveness,” he mentioned. “We want to push Habitat to a tiny greater stage of vitality performance.”