The Start Small team convenes at the DAAP Material Library on UC campus. Contractor, architect and contributing designers were in attendance to discuss the estimated budget.
The team hopes to create a high-end home at an affordable price all while navigating the necessary building codes and regulations.
While the bottom line revealed a number that was less than desirable, the team felt confident that they would be able to adjust costs by reviewing materials and design elements.
Many possibilities are being considered in order to create an affordable solution for low-income homeowners. These creative design changes will lowers costs while still ensuring a high-quality product. Design elements, such as floor-plan layout and window arrangement, are also being reconsidered during this stage of development.
There are other factors influencing the final design, such as input from Cincinnati’s Historic Conservation Board. Their role is to ensure appropriate design elements for any new construction occurring in the city's historic districts. All proposed construction materials have to be approved along with the outward appearance of the building. Although, not all adjustments being made are to cut costs. Some changes arise from public opinion, such as retaining wall layout and the installation of a basement. These changes occur periodically throughout the Start Small process as the project begins to take shape.
After much deliberation, the budget has been set. One home will be sold at market-rate, while the second will go to a qualified low-income homeowner. Ever transparent, the Start Small team intends to publish the exact figures after closing on the Peete St. properties next week. The road to completion has been long and arduous, but the goal to create a net-zero, affordable home has been achieved.
The issues that Start Small set out to address are challenging with virtually no "playbook" to speak of.
As design innovation and public interest begins to shift toward conservation and sustainability the means to create affordable, energy-efficient homes will become more accessible. This team understands that in order to reach that point you've got to Start Small.