Rewriting density in our small town is a difficult task, but critical to creating a more walkable city.  In defining the site for our own new office, we wished to explore live/work options for downtown, constrained by an unusual triangular site, a tight budget, and the desire for a minimum LEED Silver rating.

A structure was built here in 1890, and used as a grocery store, cafe, gas station, lawnmower repair, and upholstery shop.  It had deteriorated prior to Hurricane Katrina, which left it standing due to the limited flooding at this high point of the coastal ridge.

Regional and salvaged materials, a downtown brownfield site, rainwater collection, and views from every area contribute to the LEED checklist. The high-performance building envelope and extensive use of daylighting promote exceptional energy use.  Interiors are designed to require no artificial light in the daytime.  Large, low-e coated windows are shaded to prevent glare and heat gain.  Spray foam insulation creates an excellent thermal break between inside and outside.  These efforts contribute to 70% better than the baseline, code-compliant structure, and represents a 50% improvement over the energy model.


Completed 2011

Program: 3525 SF studio, offices, commercial tenant space, and loft apartment.

Cost: $600,000

LEED Gold (pending)

Project Team:

unabridged Architecture, Architect

BILDesign, Contract Documents

Benchmark, Contractor