Leed Certification
Energy and Atmosphere

MIR - Trahan House


Make-It-Right Foundation


New Orleans, LA

Project Type:




Green Rater:

Project Goal:

The general objectives were to: exploit economies of typology planning, retain a connection with typology identity, integrate Cradle to Cradle philosophy, remain open to the momentum of the greater project and its emergent economies i.e. mobilization required to quickly build 100- 150 houses.


The general approach is defined by two elements: The "first is the Low Cost Passive Box. Here the design is driven by meeting the demands of a limited budget and use of specialized materials/assemblies meeting the greater project’s sustainability goals. For this, our approach remains open to the constructive support of the collective knowledge base and expertise assembled to assist MIR teams with materials, assemblies and cost.

Furthermore, we aim for the design to remain open to the opportunities presented by the momentum and economies that are generated through the mobilization of a large scale construction site aimed at completing 100-150 houses in a short time period. Our aim here is to provide a performance-oriented specification and illustrate various ways in which it might be fulfilled.

The shotgun typology is a resultant of site constraints, environmental conditions and efficient planning. The approach to the project was to identify these main characteristics and represent them in a more contemporary vision. The roof becomes the main architectural expression that subtly gestures at the form of the pitched roofs common to the area of the lower 9th Ward. While reinforcing the scale and experience of place.

The roof fuses entry, circulation and gathering spaces into degrees of out sidedness that is typical of New Orleans typologies. As the roof evolved from pragmatic form and function, it began to transition into a high performance component that is integral to the design’s successful genesis within the “Cradle to Cradle” philosophy.

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