Latest and greatest Cottage

USA Weekend reports on the Washington, D.C.-area Katrina Cottage built for this weekend’s “Make A Difference Day”:

bq. The [Katrina Cottage] project is a realization of a group of socially conscious designers, engineers and builders, called the Congress for the New Urbanism. Their goal, in the aftermath of horrific destruction by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, was to provide affordable, dignified housing for the needy not only on the Gulf Coast but in every pocket of the country. The award-winning designs can now be translated to fit any environment.

The cottage concept, as realized by Marianne Cusato, recently won the People’s Choice at the National Design Awards sponsored by Cooper-Hewitt.

By architect Steve Mouzon’s description, the “Katrina Cottage VIII”: (column on left) is a big step towards design nirvana (far closer than, say, “the LivingHome”:
* it can and will expand in eight different directions
* it is visitable by those in wheelchairs and adaptable (can be made fully accessible)
* its energy performance is good, befitting the first Katrina Cottage that will see snow (however infrequently) but also having a high-albedo (non-heat-sink) roof
* “it has more clever space-saving devices than you’ve ever seen”
* its interiors are solid, not veneers, hence low VOCs and with ancillary benefits like absolute flexibility with regard to wall hangings thanks to wood paneling instead of drywall on interior walls
* it has all green materials, including bamboo and slate floors
* it is already in production, built at a new factory in Louisiana
* it is designed for affordability and is sized for humble living
* it also has no garage and is being donated to a low-income family living in transit-rich Silver Spring.