Quantitative Deduced Program for Large Residential Developments

The following analysis for ‘large residential developments’ provides the basics to determining actual quantities of varying sized dwelling units which includes both owner occupied and rentals, as well as low, moderate and high-end units. This program development is done to create a development which reinforces the fundamental composition of a vibrant community, an important part of any neighborhood.  The analysis, based on population quantities and age groups, creates a prototype model which can be applied to future residential developments. It also accommodates a small percentage of affordable housing which can be provided at little or no cost, thus responding to a growing social need and proving itself worthy, in all respects, to being an integral part of a community.

The community, both physical and psychological, wishes to achieve the feeling of an extended family, in which all its inhabitants are respected and welcomed, ensuring that no person shall be brushed away as not worthy. It is a community which embraces variety both physically (in the physical form and detail) and in its spirit, for it is variety that provide the foundation for a thriving, energetic, vibrant place. The result in all aspects reflects the best of social living.

The resulting development, containing between 300 and 1500 units, plays its part of a larger city block and street/city scape, incorporating the spirit of surrounding context and enhancing its place with connections to other parts of the city, establishing its place within the larger community.  The resulting design, much like the Boston ‘Tent City’ residential development which I designed, consists of a combination of low and mid-rise structures. And for this study I take the best of what I design there, both physically and programmatically, pushing that design technology forward using data from a variety of sources to support the resulting conclusions.

This is Part 1 of an unknown series of examinations into creating the perfect urban residential development. One that is self-sustaining, environmentally friendly and inclusive.  It hope to establish basics of program, reinforcing things all humans need to feel like they are home, welcomed, secured and proud of their habitation.

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The problem with Zoning’s FAR

FAR, the floor area ratio, is determined by multiplying the area of a property by a number determined by the property’s zoning district.  For instance a 20’x100′ property in a zoning district of R5 has a factor of 1.25 allowing for 2500 square feet of ‘habitable’ interior space.

The issue is what is considered habitable. FAR accounts for the gross built area including thicknesses of walls, suggesting that the very walls that help define the interior spaces are habitable.  This results in something unfortunate, the attempt to make structural walls thinner resulting in larger interior spaces, which results in buildings that feel less sturdy by the increase in noise infiltration, vibration and other factors.

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The Functional Human, in Home Design

Homes are functional machines, although most people don’t consider this factor when designing a new home, or only as a side note.  Lets, for a moment, discuss the functional aspects of what humans have to deal with when functioning in a home solely from their point of view, and assume there is a fitting design to solve their daily and weekly tasks in order to save humans the maximum amount of time, thus providing extended opportunities to enjoy life.  This is a ‘house as machine’ examination!

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Natural Flow Snow Melting System, Zero Energy Consumption

We’re at that point in the year where the sun is starting to make its presence known by giving us extended day light hours.  But the effects of the cold acts like winter is an entity cuddled in a slingshot in that the cold of winter is about to hit us, along with snow and ice that makes a daily walk a risk taking adventure. Is there a way of guaranteeing that our walkways will be free of snow and ice year around?  I believe there is.

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Carroll Gardens Brooklyn Garden Transformation

With spring around the corner, lets take a quick look at one of our SimpleTwig garden projects during the renovation of a Carroll Gardens Brooklyn townhouse.

When purchased the garden was overgrown with fallen fencing, and whatever thrown wherever.  Our first steps were basic cleanup.  The ivy was trimmed back and the trash, fencing and anything not savable removed.  We kept the existing gravel cleaning it up so we could use it as a base for a new slab and tile.

This garden is just 30×40 feet square with buildings on 3 sides.  Because of this we decided to make more of the planting area by raising it, and at the same time provide additional seating for informal gatherings.

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Efficiency of Home Design, the Laundry Machine

It’s looming, consuming, it’s laundry day.

Homes are functional machines (not if you choose the wrong Architect), although most people don’t consider this factor when designing a new home, or only as a side note.  Yet when choosing an Architect you hope, or assume, they know what they’re doing.  The truth is there might be passing consideration at best, for some of your home’s most important functional aspects, like your closets, laundry and that whole messy process.

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