Laurel Road Residences

Laurel Road Residences

Williamsburg, MA

This project is the first renewable energy affordable housing community in Western Massachusetts. The program consisted of 11 units of affordable (six 2-bedroom and five 3-bedroom) single family houses, all of which are Energy Star Certified Homes. In addition to being affordable, these homes were designed to be economical and healthy to live in. The homes were made available to first-time home buyers earning less than 80% of a median income level. The developer exercised a 40B affordable housing zoning option to develop this parcel, and consulted extensively with town officials, neighbors, and potential residents early in the planning phase.

Our challenge was to design economic, attractive, sustainable homes that would provide individual self-respect and community pride. Each detached unit was designed to be durable and easily maintained, with the potential for future expansion in the attic areas. The units were carefully placed around an oval drive so that the abutting units do not obstruct sunlight or views from the primary windows, and also provide access to both the woods and the community lawn. Each unit has a spacious and open feel due to the generous daylighting and open floor plans.

The units were designed utilizing sustainable features such as passive solar orientation, use of recycled/renewable materials, low VOC materials, and water conservation. Each unit has a 2.7 kW PV roof top solar array, manufactured in MA through an MTC grant, which meets 80% of the annual electrical load. Units have generated credits for months from April to October. The homes have HERS ratings of 34-37. Building orientation, window arrangement and overhang design were focused on fundamental passive solar strategies.

Team

Architect: LDa Architecture & Interiors, Joint Venture with Peter Frothingham, RA

Photographer: Woodruff Brown Architectural Photography

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