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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:47 AM
Original message
"Katrina Cottage" an attractive alternative to FEMA housing




"Katrina Cottage" an attractive alternative to FEMA housing
New York-based architect Marianne Cusato has offered an aesthetically pleasing, more traditional alternative to the sterile FEMA trailers that were dispersed after Hurricane Katrina. The so-called Katrina Cottage can be constructed for less than $35,000, compared to the FEMA trailers, which are about $60,000 to $100,000 each. ...>

http://archrecord.construction.com/news/daily/archives/...
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. Very nice. Now put it on 8-foot pilings so it doesn't get flooded, and
you have a free garage underneath as well!

Redstone
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. It would appear to be att leady for that.
If it is stiff enough to put on a trailer, then it shouldn't need much more than a couple of stout horizontal beams to put it on pilings.
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Gee...I wonder how the next big hurricane will affect thise shacks?
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Why is that a "shack"?
Please enlighten me as to your criteria for establishing that this structure is a "Shack". To the casual observer, it could be considered many things, but a shack is definitely not one of the first terms that springs to my mind.
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Not speaking for that poster......but 'shack' indicates to me that it
is somewhat flimsy, impermanent. Of course I don't think these are meant to replace homes. Just temporary shelter made a little more like home.

Of course the issues of IF, HOW, WHERE, and WHAT to rebuild is still a big question. It's an opportunity to build differently...to try something new, more safe AND sustainable.
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melissinha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. You are refering to wind resistance
I would be curious to know how wind bearing walls stand up to wind, and if the walls are mold/fire resistant.

I worked for a company that was developing manufactured housing wall panels that they claimed would be resistant to the wind, fire and mold. The old boss was trying to get them to go legit and get it formally tested and certified, wonder if that ever happened.
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #12
26. Actually, these ARE meant to replace homes.
And, in fact, are designed to be added onto so that families can later expand their living space. It's a wonderful design--you should check out the website. It's a fantastic alternative to the FEMA trailers; one that can become permanent, and also gives a family a little pride in their home.
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. Thanks. Yes another poster pointed out they are meant to be concept homes
and part of the permanent solution. I think we ought to think this one through more. What would whole communities made up of these homes look like? And besides aesthetic concerns there's the whole issue of whether they are really appropriate solutions for the housing of the 'future' of which they would be part. Is that what we would choose to build if we were creating a new community (unrelated to the disaster?). In that sense, I might feel more comfortable with the temprorariness of the trailers....
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #26
45. Oh, please give me a break! Incredible!
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-22-06 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #45
74. I think you're underestimating these.
These are, in many way, comparable to the "earthquake shacks" of the San Francisco bay area at the turn of the last century, many of which are still standing (and have withstood subsequent violent temblors, not to mention nasty Pacific storms). Short of building row after row of concrete bunkers, I don't think you're going to find any structure that is completely perfect in any way, but these do a pretty darn good job. I'm really not sure what you'd propose to counter this.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-22-06 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #12
71. there is such a project in the works
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
44. In hurricane force winds, that "structure" will become a shack....
...and be blown apart in no time. If you don't understand that, then you might as well believe that "structure" is a steel-reinforced concrete structure.

Haven't you been paying attention to the results of hurricanes since Andrew?

Save your argumentative attitude for someone else.
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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. In hurricane force winds, so will the FEMA trailers.
At least these have concrete-fiber walls and metal roofs. They'll do better than composite board and asphalt shingles.

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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #46
50. What's your definition of better after the winds hit 120 mph?....
...The bottom line here is that those "structures" are far from replacing the homes our fellow Americans lost to Katrina. How many people are supposed to live in those things? Two? Three?

We're spending $200-$300 billion for an illegal and immoral war in Iraq, and the best we can do for our own people is this?
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politicat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #50
66. Without improving the levee system, it doesn't matter.
Edited on Tue Mar-21-06 11:03 PM by politicat
Flooding is always going to be more damaging than wind; there are very few buildings that can be built in Louisiana that are cat 4/5 stable because cat 4/5 stable requires tying to bedrock. There's no bedrock to be found in that area. (And while I agree with you that this war we're in is a stupid and immoral waste of resources, the issue is housing, not war. Please don't argue from a false choice.) But even if bedrock could be located, as long as there's a risk of flooding when the levees break, there's no way to build perfect housing. More on this below.

I've been following this concept since Katrina; I volunteered as a researcher to put together a Bungalow in a Box concept built on the Sears Craftsman Bungalows sold in the first part of the 20th century. (We couldn't price them low enough to be practical, unfortunately.) If you look here: http://www.mississippirenewal.com/info/dayJan-11-06.htm... and here: http://www.newurbanguild.com / you'll see a far more in-depth profile of the cottages. They're built as temporary housing for 2-4 people, and permanent housing for 1-2 people or business space for the long term. Good use of space is critical in these designs. There are loft beds over the window seats and a lot of built in features. If a family doesn't have a lot of stuff (which most of the families these are built for don't) 308 square feet used well is more space than 800 square feet used poorly. (For what it's worth, my house started out at about 400 square feet back in the twenties, and has been added on to twice, once to provide a bigger kitchen and dining area, and once to add an office space. The original house was intended for a family with three children. Most of the year, we live in the 400 square foot original house.) These are neighborhood houses, where kids play in common areas and people congregate over grills and on porches. They're for neighborhoods where an eight year old can bike to a store to buy a popsicle.

The cottages can be built in 20 days, in a barn and hauled into place. The trailers that FEMA bought take 35 days to build and cost twice as much (and from what I hear, are shoddy as all hell.) The FEMA trailers are meant to be disposable - they're supposed to be landfilled in 18-24 months. These houses are meant to be the basis for add ons, to become granny apartments, or housing for couples and single people in the future. In a mixed use neighborhood, they would serve perfectly as a small clinic, a dentist's office, a hair salon, a tailor's shop, or small store. They're the difference between New Urbanism and single use sprawl. They're meant for medium density, community based housing.

These cottages can definitely stand up to Cat 2 hurricanes - that's what they experience just being transported from building site to lot site. (70+20 MPH winds, bumps, jolts, stops - and it survived without even cracks in the sheetrock!). I would back of the envelope guess that these would stand up to 120 MPH winds better than a trailer, if only because these would tie better to their foundations. I know that the trailers that are currently in use are not hurricane stable, and if there is a serious hurricane in this upcoming season, the region will suffer damages akin to tornadoes in the midwest - insult to injury, in other words. For what it's worth, my partner works for an insurance underwriting company that specializes in natural disaster insurance (range fire, earthquake, hurricane and flood), and they are refusing to insure any of the FEMA trailers that have been put on foundations... and this company will insure houses in earthquake country built on sand...

If these cottages are built with metal foundation strapping and use spray adhesive on the roof sheafing, they will be able to take 120 mph winds without a problem. (University of Florida, Windstorm Damage Mitigation Center, 1999). We've learned a lot about materials and building science in the past 100 years; we can improve on the materials and concepts while preserving the look and feel of an historic community.

As for flood versus wind resistant construction: While elevated block construction survives flood damage better, they tend to lose their roofs in high winds due to implosion thanks to significantly unequal pressures. Wood frames flex and breathe better than block, and so survive wind damage better, but tend to be significantly damaged by water. There are very few structures that can survive both types of damage. (elevated Bucky ball houses are about it - and for some reason, no one likes geodesic domes...)

As for being a permanent part of the architecture of the city, they are a start for replacement housing that is culturally, environmentally and historically appropriate to the region. They're based on shotgun houses, and shotgun houses came from Haiti after the Haitian revolution, when the Free People of Color started building their settlements. If you look into the actual architecture of the city, architectural historians have linked the shotgun houses to West African housing of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Once in Louisiana, the architecture changed to suit the environment: houses with high ceilings, deep porches and big windows have excellent air flow-through and cooling properties; houses on piers are safer in floods and cooler in the summer; the double parlor of the shotgun house allowed for maximum flexibility in sleeping, and the plaster and lathe system (which is best replicated by fibrous concrete for its fire safety and water resistance) meant walls stayed cooler. Early shotgun houses have Caribbean carvings; later houses adopted Victoriana. The cottages take advantage of several of these properties; the thin house plans that are soon to be available will be adapted shotgun houses that include all of them.

Shotgun neighborhoods were developed for a non-car world, where people walked and used public transportation to get around. The long, narrow lots are much easier on a walking population than are wide lots. Double shotguns make the best use of materials, and camelbacks are relatively easy to add on to any shotgun. And it was the shotgun house that invented the front porch, something that has become a very important part of New Orleans culture and climate.

The average single shotgun house is about 20 feet wide and 40-80 feet deep; double shotguns are twice as wide and the same length. The house pictured above is a starter, not a final product. However, if getting out of a motel and getting home meant my kids had to have loft beds and I had to use a tiny kitchen for a year, I'd be all over it.

Please keep in mind that many of those displaced are living in even further cramped quarters - four or six people to a single motel room, doubled up in two bedroom apartments or small trailers. No, these houses are not going to handle the Lazy-boy recliner and big screen TVs... but while one is rebuilding the main house, who can afford such things? Isn't it better to put a community back together so that children have their families and chosen kin just down the street, so that churches and schools and shops have their client bases back, so that the community begins to mend? Yeah, cramped quarters suck. But being stuck 1000 miles from home and all you care about sucks worse.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #1
29. No, that is where the birddog sleeps.
I'm a southerner so I know. It looks like an updated version of the sharecropper shacks.

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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. If he wants the federal government to buy these...
...He's going to have to charge a lot more money for them, and have them made by a BushCo affiliate -- preferably in China.

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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Er..........you mean "she"
Marianne
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Whoops, yes, she
I skimmed it -- mostly looked at the pictures. It's a very nice little abode.

But as I said, if BushCo can't figure out a way to make big money by having the government pay for these, they aren't going to be interested.



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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
7. Lovely. Thousands of those sitting unused in Arkansas
would be much more attractive than the thousands of unused trailers currently sitting there.
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
8. Slap some of that thin film solar PV on the metal roof and you've
gone even further ahead, outfit it with a composting toilet and no need to wait for sewer systems to be rebuilt. Cheaper, greener and could be built in a factory type setting putting thousands back to work.

What's not to love about the plan? Oh, lack of no bid contracts would kill it, you're right. How stupid of me to forget what really happens.
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Mass producing cheap, green housing? What -- are you Bucky Fuller now?
Everybody knows that housing has to be expensive. How else would developers make money? Do you want to take food out of their kid's mouths?

:sarcasm:
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
9. Students Take On The Damaged Gulf Coast
Universities near the battered Gulf Coast region and beyond have directed the focus of their architecture, landscape, design, and planning departments on the real-life lessons to be gained by efforts to rebuild the area.

At Mississippi State University (MSU) in late January, more than 200 landscape-architecture students, armed with maps and photographs, targeted a 75-mile stretch of the Gulf Coast as part of a master-planning study aimed at reviving coastal communities pummeled by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The weeklong project, led by volunteers from international landscape-architecture firm Design Workshop, provided students with a rare glimpse into the professional challenges of rebuilding a natural-disaster zone. For many students, this is the first time they have engaged in a planning project of this scale, says Jeremiah Dumas, a landscape architect with the firm.

Project leaders selected a site spanning three coastal counties in Mississippi and including an existing rail line located five blocks inland and running parallel to the shore. They then divided students into teams of 10, tasking each with a 6-by-6-mile section of the project...cont'd

http://archrecord.construction.com/archrecord2/work/060...

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catnhatnh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
13. Hmmm....300sq ft???
@ $35,000= approximately $115 per sq ft....nor real livable for more than one or two EXTREMELY amiable people. Think 15x20 ft including kitchen,bath and bedroom....hmm small kitchen 6x8,small bath 6x6,small bedroom 8x10...164 sq ft leaving a great room (living/dining space) of approximately 10x12 not including closets and utility spaces...need a second bedroom??? Make that great room 5x8....In short,one more rich clown's idea of how to help poor folks-a normal trailer is at minimum 14x70 ft or more (980 sq ft) and contain up to 4 bedrooms.And I love the idea that later they could be used as "guest houses"....I'm sure that has been of great concern in New Orleans....
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Here's a picture of the interior space


It does look too small for more than two people. And is probably not the most efficient or economic solution.
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. A family of 10 lives in the 800 square foot ranch across the street
from me. A roof is a roof. I think they are putting several people in the FEMA trailers that run about the same size. That would be cool to put on a couple of acres for a weekend get away.
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catnhatnh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #21
34. 800 is 800,and 300 is 300
and since you have noted that 80 sq ft is probably tight for ten,then how many belong in 300 sq ft???And if we take out just the common areas (kitchen and bath) (-84 ft) we get a net of 716 and 216...so 71.6 ft per person means that 3 in the Katrina cottage would be equally as crowded...again a normal "mobile home trailer" is at least 14x70 (980 sq ft)...some camping trailers were shipped but are not what are sitting in Arkansaw...
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #34
48. My mobile home was a 10 x 50, which fit the four of us quite nicely
for two years until we bought our house. I think people would be fine with these. I noted that the family across the street is quite happy in their home. :shrug:
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #48
57. When you got the trailer, did you know you were buying a house?....
...90% of Katrina's victims will never have the option.
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #57
62. Nope...When I bought my trailer I had to beg borrow and steal for a roof
Edited on Tue Mar-21-06 09:55 PM by MrsGrumpy
over my daughter's head. It was rough going for her and I...and then we met MrG, got married, had a baby and moved on when we had the money. I know of what I speak. I lived there with my daughter from 93-96...then all of us from 96-99.
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Big Kahuna Donating Member (903 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
15. Yurts might be a better solution..


Here's a floorplan I designed for a 30ft Yurt. They run about $10,000 I'm not sure how much the lumber would cost, to build the loft, etc.

http://www.lairofthefluffybunny.com/article.php?story=2...
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melissinha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
16. Keep in mind there are additional costs
Hopefully these cottage will be put on developed land where water and wasterwater services have already been developed, you also have to consider whether the new homeowner has to pay for the lot the house will be placed on.

Just some food for thought, yes in the end they will be cheaper than the trailers and more appealing but don't think that its only going to be $35,000, or as in new story $60,000.

Wonder what they look like installed, if they will look like manufactured homes complete with siding skirting or rock. Another curiousity is, are these cottages appropriate for the flood plains they say the trailers are unsuitable for????
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
17. Maybe we should have a DU Emergency Housing Design Contest
Edited on Tue Mar-21-06 09:35 AM by Dover
to see who comes up with the best solutions (either original or 'found').

I'll bet there are a lot of talented folks around here. I know it's difficult without having studies the area, the infrastructure, etc. But if we just confine the contest to
TEMPORARY DISASTER RELIEF HOUSING for the Gulf Coast and possible future disasters, we might come up with some very useful ideas.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
19. These are concept buildings
The architects don't really intend to sell thousands of these to FEMA. It's the idea that it can be done with attractive designs and permanence for the same price range as FEMA trailers. The $35,000 model is small and wouldn't have much place in the real world, but a senior citizen might find it more attractive to have a house that is permanently attached to a new foundation if it gets them home sooner.

Some of the Katrina cottage concepts are designed in such a way that the framing makes it easy to add on from the back with the original cottage either as a backroom or a large entry parlor for the final house. The idea is you're moving into your permanent home sooner, even if it is tiny until the rest of it is built.

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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #19
23. Thanks. You're right. They ARE supposed to be part of the permanent
solution.

At a recent Louisiana Recovery Authority charrette in Arabi, La., a team of architects (many had taken part in the Mississippi forum) developed a distinctly Louisiana-style cottage model that is about twice the size of Cusato's version. That cottage team is now developing model parks in Mississippi and Louisiana that will feature 17 Katrina Cottage designs and a builders' square where manufacturers of cottage components can display their wares.

Meanwhile, the worldwide construction industry seems to have taken note of the cottages. Cusato recently received a request for a prototype model to be built in Ghana, Africa.


Hmmm....now I'm less sure if I like them, when you think about them becoming PERMANENT.
How will that effect communities and their aesthetic? Will they come to represent low income areas?

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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #23
30. Interesting historic parallel to think about
After the 1906 event, one of the ways that people were housed quickly in San Francisco were tidy little houses that came to be called 'earthquake cottages.' They were meant to be replaced after a few years and many were, or additions and modifications were made to create larger spaces, but there are a handful of these tiny temporary buildings in the city today, one hundred years later.

I think the key for this sort of Katrina rebuilds is that the design must be architecturally sound for the area and that homeowner assistance doesn't end once their little cottage is on site. If the version that came out of that charrette is about 700 SF that's livable for families (not spacious or ideal, but livable) and if it stylistically is reminiscent of the local architecture that's great. The model park will have 17 designs -- you have built in variation in the curb look just from those choices.

The old houses weren't cookie cutter designs but I would bet that there were styles that were common in certain areas before owners began modifying them. If you rebuild with houses that have good bones then over time the sameness will be dulled as people add on, change window sizes or styles, plant trees, etc.

As for it becoming symbolic of low income housing, it could happen, but having temporary FEMA manufactured housing as the other option is most certainly going to say "low income housing" to the sort of people who fret about such things and I'd bet those same people would grouse less over cute little cottages.
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catnhatnh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #30
41. Whoa dude-think 1910 and Sears...
Roebuck son,swimming pools,sofas...whom also sold "houses to go"-entire house packages in the craftsman style.....one of the last of these appearently was an A-frame type chalet plan sold into the 60's-as a plan-not a package-my brother bought one in NH in the 80'...For fun,google Sears and Houses....
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Huh? n/t
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #41
47. some of those sears homes still stood in gentilly
i suppose katrina has destroyed them all now, sad, but they withstood betsy w.out batting an eye
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
20. I love that it has a front porch.
One of the stupidest developments in domestic architecture was the abandonment of the front porch.

This actually looks like a real, though small, New Orleans house.
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egadsbrain Donating Member (407 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. Agreed! Why not create something pleasing...
One of the architect's objectives was to design a home that evoked the traditional architecture of the south/gulf coast. I was intrigued by the accounts of survivors who mentioned their "shotgun" and "double-shotgun" houses. Looked it up...
The shotgun house is a type of house that was the most popular style in the American south from just after the Civil War until the 1920s. It is characterized by a narrow and deep one room wide rectangular floorplan without halls, and three to four rooms all connecting directly into each other. The term "shotgun" is usually said to come from the saying that you could fire a shotgun through the front door and the shell would go cleanly through the house and out the back door. Though that is often true, it isn't always the case.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shotgun_house


Yikes! Where I live we call apartments like this "railroad flats" with "box rooms!"
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oneighty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
24. Damn
$35,000 for that?

Here one would never get that 'storage shed' past the building inspectors.

180
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. I was thinking similar thoughts.
But I don't know if that includes the price of a lot. I hope so because it doesn't look like the materials in that thing can't be more than $5000 if they are that. Looks like the 1 bdrm room plus multipurpose room cottages some folks try to set up here on postage stamp lake fronts ... and get rejected by county zoning.

It's way to freakin small for a permanent family residence, it would never be allowed to be built in Jefferson County Wisconsin. Crikey, I'm not an architect and I could come up with something that looks more like a New Orleans shot-gun house and isn't any more expensive.
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Jamison Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #24
39. With how insane home prices are...
it would be the only house I could afford. These type of houses would actually do well for most working poor, or elderly people, but not if you had kids.
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oneighty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-22-06 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #39
70. Yes it would
I could easy live in such a house. But then I have lived on small boats. Small is not bad, just takes some getting used to. Cheaper to heat, light and maintain. One cannot beat warm dry and cheap.

But at one time I could have beat that $35,000 cost by building it myself.

180
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
27. I'm a little dismayed by some of the responses here
Not EVERY American wants a huge house. Many, many, many of us don't mind a "cottage" even if the zoning in some places ****HORRORS******won't allow it.

Some people like to drive SUVs and some like to ride bikes. A smaller, energy efficient abode- a place to rest one's head and a place to cook a meal and to read a book to a child...you don't need 6500 square feet, people.

It's maddening to me when people assume the whole freakin' world needs a McMansion. It speaks a lot about who we are as Americans. IMHO

Having said that, I also will say I love the cottage, and here are some other links to smaller abodes. And as respectfully as I can, I say screw you to the snobs who are so out of fucking touch with reality here. A cottage is better than a tent, no? :grr:

http://www.cottagecompany.com /

http://www.tinyhousecompany.com/THouse-examples.html

http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/small.htm

http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/links.htm
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #27
31. Maybe I missed the posts recommending 6500 sq. feet....
Kind of an exageration to suggest that posters are recommending 'mcmansions'.


I completely agree with your sentiment and rationale for building smaller. In fact there's a whole movement toward that end which is why books like, The Not So Big House, are so popular. But 800 sq. feet for many more than two or three people is really pushing it. It might be fine for temporary shelter, but is probably not that functional for a family of 5 or more, if we're talking about permanency. Of course that is done often enough and these homes are designed to allow expansion, but my concern is that if we start plunking down these houses which are meant to be permanent and therefore will be the basic design foundation that will make up whole future communities...well, I think that requires much more thought and I'd want to know a lot more about the materials and energy efficiency, 'green' and sustainable factors, etc. of these structures. The problem with quick solutions that become permanent is there is no plan. If these areas were simply being built (unrelated to disasters) is this what homeowners and city planners would choose?
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. Sorry, I did exagerate because I deal with the "out of touch"
too often anymore.

All over the planet, people live in less than 900 square feet. That may seem cramped to some people. But it's the way others live by circumstance as well as the way many live by CHOICE.

I've owned the Big Ass House and I'm here to tell you that even with seven bedrooms, a playroom, an office and a finished basement it grew too small. Crap seems to multiply once you get on the materialism ride.

If communities want the potential to build larger domains, the smaller house is a better option than a trailer. It's how they did it way back when. They added on.

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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #32
60. I SO agree with you, and here's my family's story...
Edited on Tue Mar-21-06 09:40 PM by Viva_La_Revolution
When Gran and Gramps were newly married, they bought a two room restaurant on the edge of town. The big room became the living room, and the old kitchen became the bedroom. They used an outhouse for 4 years. By the time the second baby was on the way, they had added on a kitchen, a bathroom and another bedroom. This was the late 40's. By the mid 50's they had 2 more kids, added a laundry/pantry room and another bedroom. At the end of the 50's (6 kids) they dug out a basement, two bedrooms down there, and two rooms for storage.

Now that the kids are all grown and gone, with families of their own, and Grandpa has passed, Gran would probably think one of those little Cabins would be heaven.
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-22-06 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #60
68. Cool story,,,thank you for sharing it
I am researching small houses because that's what I want. Actually, I envisioned a small community of houses with a central dining area/activity building when I was designing my "intentional community." Funding is slim ;) but I still think it's a good idea.

Once all the kids are out, I won't need more than a bedroom and an office/studio for myself. Two rooms and a stove and sink and restroom. A huge house lost its appeal when I had to care for one.

People freak me out anymore. They seem to forget how things came to be. Or they assume everyone wants the same lifestyle they have. It worries me but what can you do? Materialism and More More More are killing us all one way or the other.

Your family sounds cool. That's the way things used to be done. People built as their families grew and PAID as they went. What a concept, uh?
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #27
54. "Snobs"?? Rein it in, pal. This is all about replacing the homes...
...that were destroyed by Katrina. Homes that contained the memories and keepsakes of generations of people. Homes that weren't even close to 6500 square feet (where you got that, I don't freakin' know), but housed families in modest 1000-1220 square foot homes that was comfortable to them.

We're spending $200-$300 billion in an illegal and immoral war in Iraq, and the only thing we can come up with to house our fellow Americans is this??

Speaking of "out of touch", just how far out of touch have YOU grown?
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #54
67. So out of touch that I know people would love to have a cabin
a cottage, any structure rather than nothing or a flimsy tent blowing in the wind.

So how is a cottage at 800 or 900 square feet - well built and able to be added onto - a bad deal for those in 1000 sq ft places? They could be made bigger, of course, none of this is written in stone.

I have no problem finding funds for the purpose of housing Katrina's victims. I believe there are cost-effective ways to do so while also maintaining people's dignity and sense of place.

These cottages may seem inadequate to you, but I will guarantee you there are many people who would love to have one right now versus a box of a trailer. And I live in a trailer now, BTW.

It just galls me when people assume that a small house is less desirable to everyone. Many, many people want to live in small housing: less upkeep, expense, blah blah blah. For people on fixed incomes, small homes are the way to go and what they DESIRE.

Maybe some don't want a small house next to their gigunda estates, but I am a fan of mixed zoning and have no problem with any size house as long as it is maintained and works for the person living in it.



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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
33. I think they are cute
AND you can house two families for the price of one.
:thumbsup:
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catnhatnh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #33
42. Are you nuckin' futs????
the entire cutesy NY designed HORSESHIT garden shed is 300 SQ Ft-got that???15x20 frikken feet-smaller than a NY middle class weekender yacht-in short,something you would not sentence an enemy of the state to live in-a family house????Divided by 4 it comes to 7.5x10ft gross!!!How many exist in your 2 families?You might prefer the "look" over a trailer,try a weekend in both and then make a choice.
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enki23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 05:20 PM
Response to Original message
35. a trailer modified into a shotgun house looking thing?
at least it wouldn't look out of place.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
36. It looks like my trailer, but mine only cost $25,000.
Mine only has one bedroom. I bet the FEMA trailers have more than one bedroom. However, since the FEMA trailers haven't reached most of those who need one, it seems like it's a moot point now.
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Minnesota Libra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
37. That thing looks like a one-room shack. nt
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. A one room shack is better than no shack.n/t
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Minnesota Libra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. Oh yes I'm sure Katrina survivors will appreciate that sentiment nt
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #40
56. These are INTENDED to be temporary housing. You have to live within
the limitations you have -- you can relocate, or you can stay and try to rebuild, and that means temporary housing.
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #38
49. That might work with the nation's homeless that are actually....
...living on the streets. How many millions of homeless have been added to those ranks over the last 6 years?

For people that had homes, jobs, and family, then lost just about everything, it's small comfort, IMHO.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #49
58. It might surprise you to know that the homeless also once
had homes, jobs and families. I would think some kind of shelter from rain, wind and having a place to store your stuff would be better than nothing even if your former home was a palace.
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #58
61. It wouldn't surprise me in the least, Oh Condescending One....
...do you personally know anything about being homeless? Have you ever been homeless? Ever sleep on a steam vent with a plastic sheet over your body? Ever pick trough dumpsters to find something to eat?

Just my personal opinion, but I don't think you personally know anything about being homeless.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. No. have you?
But I have lived in a trailer. I still do. And I am grateful to have that little bit of shelter even though I don't have any heat. So I think that a homeless person or a victim of a disaster would be happy to have that little shack for awhile until they got on their feet.

Your assumption was that people who once had a house wouldn't want that shack for temporary shelter but homeless people would. I think you think that no homeless people ever had a home, that they were born and raised on the streets. I think that is condescending of you. It's like you don't think they are human.
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Obamarama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
51. The FEMA trailers cost $60,000 to $100,000 EACH?????
Did I read that correctly? Can someone bloody explaing THAT????
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. those trailers should cost $20k TOPS!
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catnhatnh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #51
64. Easily,like a bad old joke....
20K for you,20K for me, and the rest to some idiot to provide a (service,product,whatever)...Here in New England they are advertised,week in and week out at less than 40K...
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-22-06 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #51
69. Halliburton, Bechtel and KBR got the no bid contracts - nuff said n/t
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
52. how the fuck does a cheap travel trailer cost $100,000
$100,000 buys a luxury motorhome. Whos getting all that extra money??? WHERE THE FUCK IS THE ACCOUTABILITY TO WHOS GETTING MONEY?!?!?!?!
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
55. 300 sq.ft better than cardboard box
Having read some of the comments, I detect a bit of "elitism." If I had just been flooded out of my home, with no place to live, this would look like a palace. We in the west are spoiled by the amount of personal space in our dwellings. In other countries, this would be considered roomy. Just the fact that it is a solid building recommendes it over so many alternative dwellings. I have been in the tents of the nomads in Iran and they manage to live, eat and sleep whole families in quite a bit less space. It is all a matter of perspective. To me, a roof is a roof. There are children in my county that live in tiny travel trailers who would love these cottages.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
59. A 15x20 shed? Materials $10,000 tops...
and that's if you use really good millwork.

I have a better plan: Do a 30x40 building. At one end, build two rooms each 15x20. These are your bedrooms. Notch a 6x10 bathroom between them, with the closets between the back of the bathroom and the end wall. At the other end, put a simple kitchen. Support it on concrete piers that run the floor up about two to three feet--this keeps minor flooding from getting up into the house. (If the floodwaters are deeper than three feet, you're pretty much screwed anyway.) Put the same fiber-cement siding on it that Ms. Cusato used--I thoroughly recommend this stuff, it's the best--and high-quality windows with low-E glass for energy efficiency. And make sure to use lots of skylights in it--skylights can light up your whole house very effectively. I'm thinking $25,000 in materials and $15,000 for labor, giving you a $40,000 home that's actually livable instead of a $35,000 structure you'll wind up turning into a toolshed.
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catnhatnh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-21-06 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #59
65. Yeah,but why would you come here and make sense....
...this post is about idealists designing THEIR dream homes for the dispossessed and arguing about why an air conditioner box places a more gentle environmental footprint than a refrigerator box in the bayou...in short,morons describing what flag signals SHOULD have been sent from the Titanic, exactly as if it had meaning or merit...I would gladly live in one of a thousand identical trailers than wait for "enlightened" help...
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-22-06 06:29 AM
Response to Reply #65
73. Oh, I know what it's about...
I deal with "architectural idealists" all the time.

There's two kinds of people who really need to get the hell out of the building trades and leave things to the professionals: New Yorkers who design shit like this 300-square-foot house, and people who do those "home improvement" shows.

I also deal with people coming in asking me for the cheapest possible way in the world to do...whatever.

Oh Gawd...please let this morning's interview be a success...I don't wanna sell building materials no more...
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lies and propaganda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-22-06 02:10 AM
Response to Original message
72. I wonder if actual people get to live in them.
because they dont get to live in the trailers now, so just curious.
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