Habitat for Humanity Tucson's (HfHT) current mission is to produce a model of and set a standard for affordable and sustainable homebuilding in the City of Tucson and throughout Pima County. According to HfHT, "the cost of new house designs and construction documents is prohibitive for most non-profits, in part, because pre-development funding is difficult to come by and is often very prescriptive in its use. It is one of the major reasons non-profit affordable housing developers have trailed the market in innovation and built "good enough" homes from "off-the-shelf" plans rather than homes that are both affordable to build and affordable for the end-user to operate and maintain." HfHT has made a commitment to develop more sustainable homes. HfHT was one of the first homebuilders (for-profit or non-profit) in Tucson receiving a "silver" or "gold" rating from the City of Tucson and Pima County's Regional Green Building Rating System for sustainable design features in their new home construction.

With a grant from the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH), the Drachman Institute worked with HfHT to help them surpass their current standard of design and sustainability and provided technical assistance in the development of conceptual and schematic designs as well as model plan permit sets for two homes that are anticipated to be built by HfHT in the new 42-home Blue Sky or Casas de Cielo Azul subdivision in Tucson, Arizona or throughout the region. In addition to being designed to meet the "gold" standard under Regional Green Building Rating System, one home was designed specifically for narrow east/west oriented lots and the other home was designed to respond to solar conditions on north/south oriented lots.

After developing multiple iterations with different design options, the Drachman Institute provided two two-story home designs with accompanying construction drawings that showcase a higher-density/ smaller footprint and an economically and environmentally sustainable alternative that HfHT can offer for their potential homeowners.

date:  January 2010 – January 2011

location:  Tucson, Arizona

client:  Habitat for Humanity Tucson

project type:

  • Architectural design and construction/permit documents

project source/funding:

  • Arizona Department of Housing

DI team:

  • Peter McBride, Project Coordinator
  • Dick Eribes, Architect, Senior Research Fellow
  • Jim Sauer, Architecture Student
  • Megan Wedel, Architecture Student
  • Pete Neff, construction documents
  • Madeline Gradillas, construction documents

Drachman Institute Program:
COPC