Up[LIFT] House

Competition

2007

The 99K House Competition aimed to: 1. Broaden awareness of green building strategies applicable to affordable housing 2. Generate examples of sustainable, affordable houses that can be built and sold for $99,000 or less
3. Produce a creative, innovative design that can be replicated throughout the Gulf Coast region


The approach of UP[LIFT] HOUSE for a more sustainable lifestyle is to reduce the ecological footprint through more efficient living. The UP[LIFT] house addresses environmental impact with three solutions to uplift an urban neighborhood: condensed living, flexibility, and unconventional reuse of standard elements to passively heat and cool the house.

The house is a prefabricated modular system that maximizes 5 components to produce a cost and energy efficient building: 1. prefabricated precast elevator shafts, 2. precast hollow core concrete slabs, 3. modular wall systems, 4. courtyard for ventilation, and 5. reflective roofing with solar collectors.

The UP[LIFT] house is highly flexible due to its use of modular elements. The elevator shaft s and hollow core slabs adapt to various site constraints and user needs. The house is built on standard eight foot slab modules and the shaft s are reduced to the minimum necessary to distribute load. Potentially the house can be duplicated and stacked vertically due to load bearing capacity of the shaft s which creates a denser and more ecological living environment.

The house maximizes the use of a courtyard for the hot climate of Houston. The main floor slab is raised two feet above ground so air is able to travel under the house and through the courtyard. In essence this creates a ‘Venturi effect’ by forming a funnel for hot air to escape and keep the building cool. The interior is naturally ventilated; allowing warm air to escape through upper windows facing the courtyard. A white, reflective flat roof is applied to considerably reduce heat gain.