Sustainable You

Sustainability and the Built Environment

Wk 3: Sustainable Space Planning

Response due at the beginning of class 9/03 by each individual (not a team answer).

After visiting the job site and calculating the available square footage, one of your main design challenges on this project is designing to Cottages_Preliminary_Platmaximize use of your square footage.  As Winchip (2007) explains, “It is important for existing buildings and new  construction to minimize the size of the buildings while maximizing the effictiveness of the interiors” (p. 144).   Ironically, residences in the U.S. have increased in size over the past 50 years even though family size has decreased.

There are many reasons why . Please read this article and consider what other reasons people are choosing homes with efficient square footage Tiny House Article .

To best optimize the square footage on your Cottages at Hilltop project, please read Winchip pages 144 -147, and pay special attention to Box 6.1 Principles of Spatial Strategies (p. 146). Winchip lists many ways to space plan to optimize your square footage. Please read through the spatial strategies in Box 6.1  and answer the following questions:

1.) In your project, what approaches from Box 6.1 will you utilize to maximize your square footage?  Please discuss atleast 5 different strategies and explain why you think those will work with your house plan on Lot 15.


Filed under: LEED, Residential Interiors, Sustainable Design, Weekly Assignment,

18 Responses

  1. Lauren Lee says:

    After working today with Studio KW and trying to work out the design problems, I believe there are several principals we will be able to use.

    1)I think one of our main goals is to create spaces with multi-functional spaces. If the owner can work within a space and complete several different types of tasks, they will reduce the time of travel between the spaces as well as reduce their “laundry list” of the day. With the fast past society of today, it is important that people can easily navigate within their house.

    2)Another goal Studio KW is striving to meet is to effectively design a house with the ideal number of rooms for the target market. We know the community is geared toward young or retired couples. Reducing the amount of space will not only save the buyers money in utlities, but in construction costs as well. One or two extra bedrooms is plenty for a small family and will give them a little space to grow if it is needed.

    3)Planning simple and direct paths for circulation will help reduce the amount of space within the house devoted to passage. We have discovered 3′ can make a difference between adding a room or removing a room. The idea of “the shortest distance between two points is a starightline” completely applies to this situation, and with a narrow lot, it is extremely important to maximize the space available.

    4)Our studio has also worked with correctly and effectively using vertical space. We have calcuated the ceiling to stair ratio to reduce the amount of space needed for the staircase. This will give us more flexibilty with the floor plan.

    5)Studio KW is also working closely with our tape measures and the distance function in AutoCAD to ensure all spaces are designed for the activies that will be taken place. By avoiding undersizing or wasting space in rooms, we will design a floor plan that maximizes the entire foot print of the house.

    6)When placing walls within the interior, we are not only considereing the spaces they will hold, but we are looking into furniture arrangements within the spaces as well to ensure the room can be used effectively. All walls are related to the placement of furniture and the circulation paths.

    7)Going along with the previous point, our studio is placing furniture, fixtures, and equiptment within the spaces we are creating to effectively design sustainable and liveable floor plans. We are placing these elements first to create rooms, not vice versa.

  2. Addison Ruffin says:

    Our team is using many of the techniques suggested in Box 6.1 to create optimal living areas in a minimal amount of square feet. 5 of the most important things we have focused on are:

    1)Determine the ideal number of rooms for the needs of the users- We spent a good amount of time determining that we wanted to have a few rooms on the main floor that could be opened up or sectioned off depending on the user. We decided that the user would need five specific areas on the first floor (living room, office, kitchen, dining room, and bathroom)and then we considered which rooms could be combine to make the home feel more open. We used the same process on the second floor. Technically, we were deciding how to make multipurpose rooms and we decided that the kitchen and the dining area worked best as a single room.

    2) Plan the appropriate square footage for the required activities – Our team got out our tape measures and made certain that all of the areas we created were large enough for the desired tasks. We had the most trouble fitting th office into the first floor but after considering necessary tasks and the space they require, we came up with a solution.

    3)Plan appropriate locations for long and short term storage – Our team concentrated heavily on providing enough storage for the homeowners to store as much stuff as possible in order to keep it clear of the day to day living spaces. We incorporated TONS of storage in our design. This goes along with the reducing the number of objects in a room strategie.

    4)Lessen the perception of a small room by strategizing the elements and principles of design – We used this strategie the most when planning for our office and stairs. In the office we decided to leave one wall very open so that the room wouldnt feel as cramped. With the stairs, we decied not to cover the side with a wall so that the room would seem to be more spacious.

    5) Determine the size and shape of the room after developing the ideal furniture arrangement for the activities in the room – Our team used this idea a lot. When we didnt know how big or small we needed to make the room we simply considered the room’s function and arranged hecessary furniture. Then, we walled it in and make it work as a whole.

    6) Plan the most direct paths for circulation – This was an important element in our design because of the limited space. we wanted to eliminate the need to walk around things to get places. That would only make the house seem smaller. Our team made sure that from the front door you would be lead in a natural and direct path to every area in the home without having to walk through walls or furniture.

  3. Katherine Ward says:

    1.I think that the biggest strategy is to “base the size and shape of a room on needs of the users, rather than conforming to typical room dimensions”. So many houses, you walk into huge spaces that typically serve no purpose. We tried to utilize every bit of space that we could. We struggled at first with the size of our office and our downstairs bathroom and came to the conclusions that this house didn’t need a large full bath downstairs but that it was more important to make the office a little bigger. Our team also decided that storage was important so we added a closet downstairs even if that meant taking some of the space away from the living area. Storage is important, especially when you don’t have any!

    2. When working with a small amount of square footage, the placement of doors, windows, and openings can make or break a design. An area feels so much smaller if you have to awkwardly manuever through a space to open a door or a window, or even to pass through a room. If you have to pass between a sofa and the t.v. or coffee table to walk through a room, it makes the room feel cramped compared to if you have a clear passage way, outside of that space. A couple of our first designs would have made this an issue. Even though there were aspects of those designs that we liked better, we compromised some of our other ideas to accomodate an overall better plan.

    3. Planning for multipurpose rooms is smart and, I feel, pretty common these days. We wanted an office in our house for sure but having a seperate office isn’t always practical to the homeowners so our team decided that we would design a space that could be used as an office or an additional bedroom.

    4. As sad as this is, I never really thought about developing the furniture arrangement before determining the size and the shape of the room but it makes perfect sense to me. Our team originally had plans for a small office space but once we discussed how big a desk is and what other pieces of furniture we would need to incorporate, we decided that the area wasn’t sufficient.

    5. Reducing the number of objects in a room goes along with planning for enough storage. If you have ever lived in a house with little to no storage you can understand how important it is, so our team decided that we definitely needed to incorporate an adequate amount of storage space into our plan. For example, if you have a large closet that can house the majority of your clothing, you can reduce the amount of furniture needed in a bedroom, making the space feel bigger.

    6. Overall, I feel that as a group we are putting our heads together to come up with the best design possible. One that utilizes space, has been well thought out as far as furniture, door, window, opening, and wall placement, and a plan that is appropriate for our target market and the required activities that will take place.

  4. Alice Knowlton says:

    After reading Box 6.1 in the book, I feel like our team has already utilized several of the strategies listed. However, they list a lot more suggestions that will definitely be beneficial and effective ways to enhance our designs and floor plans.

    1. Plan the appropriate square footage for the required activities: After much group discussion, we came up with several floor plan ideas that efficiently utilize the limited square footage we were given to work with. We wanted to create an easy flow throughout each space, allowing for easy circulation of activity and air flow.

    2. Determine the ideal proportions for the activities and furnishings: Once we had some foot prints mapped out, we started figuring out what each space of the house would be used for. We wanted to utilize every square inch, but also do it in a way so there wouldn’t be a cramped feeling. Although we aren’t actually picking out the furniture, we acted like we would be, so that we would have a clear idea of where the client would be able to place everything to fit their needs.

    3. Identify effective use of vertical space: Because our lot was fairly small, we decided to try a floor plan that was three stories high to maximize the vertical space. To be LEED certified, a home has to be a maximum of three stories, so we took that into consideration also. We also wanted to incorporate long windows to bring a lot of natural light into the space, which would also make the rooms appear larger and more open.

    4. Reduce the number of objects in a room: We wanted to create open spaces in our floor plans to give the house a bigger feel. This meant reducing unnecessary walls, while utilizing all other wall spaces as much as possible, whether it meant installing cabinetry or building in closets.

    5. Plan appropriate locations for short and long term storage: This was one thing we have been struggling with. Because we don’t have a lot of square footage to work with, it is hard to find extra space that can be used for storage for things like Christmas decorations and winter clothes. However, hopefully after several brainstorming sessions we will be able to work this out to create a sufficient space for this.

    6. Locate walls and partitions that support furniture arrangements, activities, circulation, daylight, views to the outdoors, natural ventilation, and safe egress: We have tried to maximize the space we were provided by incorporating creative sustainable elements such as passive solar heating and a lot of windows that will provide views to the outdoors and bring in natural daylight. We have carefully thought out where walls are located to allow for convenient and practical furniture arrangements, even though we aren’t responsible for installing furniture. We have also provided two means of egress in each floor plan for safety and convenience.

    7. Lessen the perception of a small room by strategizing the elements and principles of design: This can be achieved several ways: 1)Installing a lot of windows for natural light, which will help a room feel larger and more open. 2)Using light paint colors, as opposed to dark, which will help rooms feel larger. 3) Allow for sufficient circulation throughout a space, both for people to walk and air to flow.

  5. Laura M. says:

    I have read over the pages and box 6.1 and I feel that our group has definitely accomplished most of these steps. Some suggestions were some I had not thought of, but can effectively use now in our planning and adjusting our plans.

    1.) We have arranged and rearranged room shapes based on furniture which always works better to our benefit. I hadn’t though too much about reducing objects in a room, but minimizing furniture to smaller proportions is a really great idea. I believe this is good to incorporate, because not only are we learning to reduce living spaces in our given square footage, but we should adjust the objects to mimic the space. Having the large sofas aren’t always the best way to plan in a space, so learning to place 2 club chairs instead of a larger sofa will minimize the space it takes up.

    2.) Our group has considered window placement for circulation, efficiency, and light. Naturally we place windows for activity, but with thorough studying we can effectively reduce energy consumption as well. Our group has considered the sun in window placement to help light the rooms and we have also considered not placing windows on a side of the house that would heat the home too much.

    3.) Rooms are smaller than I have been allowed to plan in earlier projects. Minimizing room space has also made our group think about how we can make the room seem not so small by adding better views and bringing the people to want to be in the living room and kitchen area more often. We have planned ahead for technology change by not making tv outlets in a certain place or height. We have also considered technology change by being able to use computer space for other things as well. The hole for the tv is large to accommodate smaller and larger tvs (for whatever the clients desires). We have only added hallways for privacy and we are also working on eliminating those halls we would normally want to typically place in the floor plan.

    4.) We have though of different numbers of rooms for the users from floor plans with 2-3 bedrooms. Our group did not find a need for 4 bedrooms. Our plans feature different arrangements for the bedrooms we have provided and have also placed these rooms accordingly so that they can be used for alternate purposes. These rooms are placed strategically in accordance to use and purpose. If a room can also be used as a study instead, this room was thoughtfully placed in an appropriate area. We have though of ways to use each and every space provided and minimize the wasted spaces. Built-ins are a great way we have though to also minimize wasted space in our floor plans.

    5.) Our group has been considering the requirements for ADA by following ADA guidelines. ADA allows buyers to have a home that will accommodate them through every life stage possible, as well as, accommodate them through ways i which their lives could change drastically. Safety is a main concern in our design that we are trying to incorporate thoughtfully. Wider areas to accommodate wheelchairs is important. Our theory is that you never know when something can happen and you need to have the ability to adjust in your own home if a situation were to happen. I personally have considered how a home can affect how you live and how it can help you rather than make things harder on you. We try to think of these things as we go in our design.

  6. Ashley Sellen says:

    Our group is taking many of the ideas from Box 6.1 into consideration when designing for this project.

    1. Our main concern with this project is the square footage. When designing, we really thought about reducing the hallways. We feel as if hallways are wasted space and the less we have the better. As of right now, we have not found a way to completely eliminate the use of hallways, especially in the upper level, but we are striving to be as direct as possible.

    2. Going off the previous statement, we are constantly thinking about finding the most direct paths throughout the space. Dealing with such a small space has proven to be a challenge, so being able to have a straight path is crucial. The downstairs seems to be easier to work with because we have been able to open the space up and integrate all the rooms together. We wanted someone to feel apart of the living while still in the kitchen. It brings the whole house together for a more family oriented space.

    3. While in the beginning stages of the design process we were posed with the question of number of bedrooms. We knew we were working with little square footage, so we needed to decided if we wanted four small bedrooms or three larger bedrooms. Our final decision was to try for the three larger rooms. We felt as if this would appeal more to the customer than smaller rooms would.

    4. We also tried to incorporate multipurpose rooms. We feel as if this is an important element to any home, especially in one with small square footage. Customers need to know they can use a room for something different if they do not have too large of a family. In one of our plans we managed to fit a bedroom in the downstairs portion. We feel as if this could also be used for an office if needed. In our other plans, all the bedrooms are upstairs, but one of those could also be transformed into an office area.

    5. Furniture placement was also something we are taking into consideration. Even if we believe it is a good plan, if you cannot fit furniture in it, it is basically useless. This is one of the things we are having the most trouble with. Our problem is that we would think we had a great design, but when it came down to it, it would be near impossible to fit furniture properly in the room. It is still something we are working on, but we are working on it. Everyone has been great about inputting ideas, and I think that we will come up with something great and fully functional in the end.

  7. Margaret Reid says:

    There are numerous things that we could do to maximize our square footage:

    1. Plan the appropriate square footage for required activities- I think it was good for us to have a rough idea of how big a space should be depending on what the space is being used for. There should at least be a minimum for each space because it will not function properly otherwise.

    2. Position doors, windows, and openings in locations that support furniture arrangements, activities, and circulation- We made sure to plan ahead here. It is important that the doors and windows are planned accordingly because they can really get in the way of space planning. If a door opens in the wrong direction it can get in the middle of a main area or pathway. If windows aren’t placed in well-thought-out locations, the way that furniture is set up can look very awkward.

    3. Plan appropriate locations for short and long term storage- Having the necessary closet/storage space is crucial. We made sure to plan storage downstairs and upstairs in appropriate places. If there is not enough storage in a home, it can really make a home cluttered and not able to function in the way that it should.

    4. Plan the most direct paths for circulation- This is very important because if pathways are not as direct as possible in a home, there is wasted space. A direct pathway is also beneficial because it is the easiest way for the occupants to work their way through the house and the easiest is always the best because no one wants to be taking a longer path than they need to.

    5. Determine the ideal number of rooms for the needs of users- If you do not know how many rooms should be in a home, it is impossible to plan it successfully. A certain amount of people requires a certain amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, and it also effects the size needed for rooms.

    6. Design multipurpose rooms- It is always good to have a room or two that could be used for a few different things. You never know who might be wanting to purchase the house and what their needs are. We know that one of our rooms downstairs could either be an office or a bedroom. This is a great selling factor because one might appeal to one customer and the other might appeal to someone else.

  8. Lila Wilson says:

    In order to maximize square footage we will:

    -Reduce hallway sizes because a lot of excess space is lost without designers realizing the effects. A few extra feet in a hallway can be eliminated and this space could go into another room which would in turn help reduce the total amount of footage needed.

    -Plan the most direct paths for circulation because this will allow more room for furniture without having to creating extra hallways and paths which eat up square footage. We try to use one main pathway instead of having a separate path for each area of the house. This is especially helpful when planning bedrooms and having them all come off of one hallway.

    -Plan vista openings to adjacent rooms through not completely closing off the kitchen and creating the feeling of openness into the living room space. This feeling of openness allows the homeowner to have the feeling of more square footage without having to pay for it or suffer from feeling too crowded if there were no open vistas.

    -Design multipurpose rooms such as rooms that can be used an office space or as a bedroom and a kitchen that has an eating area instead of a separate dining room. Having multipurpose rooms not only reduces square footage but it allows for more space in other important areas of the house like the living room that might be reduced if there was a need for a separate office space.

    – Determine the ideal number of rooms needed for the user to create a functional living space without adding square footage for unnecessary rooms like a formal living room or butler’s pantry. Houses today have so many rooms that barely get used except for on holidays or special occasions which is a huge waste of square footage as well as the energy needed to maintain the room.

  9. Meredith Tannehill says:

    1. Plan appropriate locations for short and long term storage. I AM ALL ABOUT STORAGE!! In my opinion, preparing a floor plan that allows for plenty of storage space is the key to maximizing the square footage for an extremely small area. By providing creative nooks and closets, designers can provide the appropriate amount of room for both short term and long term storage without losing the necessary space for bedrooms and other living spaces. In the sustainable home we are planning for Lot 15, I intend on integrating both reasonable sized closets and built in wall niches so that items like Christmas decorations and winter sweaters can be stored away during warmer seasons and items like spices, picture frames, and souvenirs can be showcased for everyone to see. It is important to think outside of the box in situations where you might be limited with layout options. Finding ways to integrate storage spaces into a design can be challenging but can be the selling factor of home for many buyers.
    2. Reduce or eliminate hallways. Barrier free floor plans are probably one of the top priorities in making construction appear larger than what is there. By removing or cutting back on the amount of hallways used, opens up rooms to each other and make a home seem larger than it is. With tons of walls making small boxy, square rooms, a residence can feel tight and claustrophobic for some. For the house on Lot 15, I knew right after seeing the size of the lot that the living room, dining area, and kitchen space were almost going to have to been semi-open with partitions if not completely open to each other (no hallways) to feel as if the home was bigger than its reality size. A couple of my schematic drawings have these 3 rooms next to one another so that really it is one giant space but 3 different areas are present. In other drawings there are slight, half partitions that create enough a barrier to distinguish the separate rooms but do not completely box in each area.
    3. Plan for versatile shared spaces. This spatial strategy is definitely an important one to consider when working with a small amount of square footage. As mentioned in the bullet point about reducing and eliminating hallways, designing rooms that flow and essentially integrate into the next room is a great way to use the space to its fullest potential. Because rooms such as the living room, dining room, and kitchen are generally located on the same level and sometimes have interweaving functions it is easy to plan for these spots to share space…killing two birds with one stone. Not only is this strategy a smart and efficient way to maximize space but it also allows for small homes to not feel so closed in. In my design for the sustainable home areas such as the kitchen, dining, living, and office space have all been placed accordingly to the activities done in each but at the same time overlap into the space of another area. So really no one room has its “own” section but rather shares space with its neighboring room.
    4. Specify furniture that is the appropriate scale. Even though we are not providing furniture specs in this particular project, while planning a tight area, furniture types, size, and scale should be thought of. If furniture is brought into home and is really too large than what the space provides for, then the home seems smaller than it should. If you purchase furniture pieces that are too small, even in a room with no walls can make you feel close to other individuals in the room and can make you feel too distance from another area. By purchasing furniture that fits the space of the room giving you plenty of room for movement and activity but doesn’t create awkward distances between you and another room I feel that space is maximized to its fullest potential. When preparing the schematics for the home on Lot 15, the type of furniture we would put in each area was in check while creating the spaces of our house. For example, in the dining room we felt that a high top table would give the room some height and in the living room we opted for a smaller sleeper sofa and two love chairs. While the couch is tucked away in a niche the chairs can be placed in an arrangement that is appropriate for traffic flow while still situated in typical living room format.
    5. Create an appropriate balance between positive and negative space. In relation to choosing the appropriate scale of furniture items is having the appropriate balance of positive and negative space. If a small home should have too many items whether it be furniture, decorative items and accessory, or free-standing appliances a reasonable size residence can appear stuffy and uncomfortable to move through. On the other hand, having a lot of empty space because owners do not possess enough items to fill in the area or because a poor floor plan has an awkward layout that doesn’t allow for proper placement of home good, can be a waste of square footage. Ridding of short walls that can only house small furniture pieces and creating well thought of spaces that can have a good balance of positive and negative space will prove to be the best design in the end. In the process of space planning for the Lot 15 home, this strategy definitely crossed my mind and is apparent in the layout of the residence. Long walls are utilized as much as possible housing entertainment centers, windows where light should be needed, and cabinetry units for kitchen appliances and home office work stations.

  10. Mhyria Miller says:

    Our team is using many of the strategies suggested in Box 6.1 to create the most efficient house we can with the square footage allowed. Five of the things we have been focusing on are:

    1) Determine the ideal number of rooms for the needs of the clients: Because we’re working with such limited square footage, our team had to decide whether our targeted clients would want four small bedrooms or three bigger ones. We came to the conclusion since most likely a small family would be buying the house, that we would go with three bigger rooms. The plan where we allowed for a bedroom to be downstairs could be turned into an office if wanted/needed. The idea of multipurpose rooms is very important in the design process.

    2) Plan appropriate square footage for required activities: When designing a house I believe it is very important to consider what will be happening in the space. To create efficient rooms our team talked about what each space would most likely be used for and planned the square footage accordingly.

    3) Position doors, windows, and openings in locations that support furniture arrangements, activities, and circulation: I think this is an important aspect for our design team to consider. Although we’ve implemented the idea of keeping an “open” floor plan which helps with the circulation, I believe when putting our windows in, we need to keep this in mind as well. By being conscious and placing our windows appropriately, we’ll be able to conserve energy effectively.

    4) Plan the most direct paths for circulation: This is something we really considered when designing, to try and eliminate wasted space. Our open floor plan will allow our clients to get from point A to B efficiently.

    5) Plan appropriate locations for long and short term storage: This is another area I believe our team can work on a little more. By adding more storage to our plan it will also reduce the number of objects in a room; which in turn will create an cleanlier atmosphere and help make our space appear bigger.

  11. Amanda Cook says:

    After reading the information in the book I have determined our group has used or could use the following strategies:

    1. Our group has tried to plan for the most direct paths of circulation and in doing so we have reduced wasted space and made the plan easier for future residents. At first we had a few problems, such as our kitchen was on the opposite side of the house from the entry door, but we have worked through most of those issues and have come up with the best possible plan. We are still working to reduce hallways and instead plan a better means to travel around the house while keeping rooms big and open.

    2. We have also done a lot of work locating walls, windows, partitions, and doors to support furniture, activities, circulation, etc. in the house. We made sure all of our doors were planned so that they did not interfere with activities and furniture in the rooms. We also tried to create as open of a floorplan as possible and reduce walls in general on the bottom floor to open up the space and allow as much natural light as possible. We are still working on window placement so we have lots of natural light without interfering with the living area.

    3. Our rooms were designed to have multiple purposes and uses. All of the private rooms in our house have access to bathrooms so they can be utilized as bedrooms but they can also serve other functions that the homeowner may want. We tried to plan the common area downstairs to be as open and versatile as possible to accommodate all needs.

    4. We determined that the ideal number of bedrooms in our house was three. Although we fit four in one plan, three bedrooms allows for slightly larger bedrooms while not compromising the common areas. We felt it would be more comfortable for the homeowner to have a little more private space than have an extra room. Three bedrooms also allow a small family to grow without having too much wasted space. A young couple can use the two additional bedrooms as separate offices or a guest room for when friends visit.

    5. Furniture placement is an important issue when determining the floorplan of a house. If the rooms are not planned with adequate space furniture cannot be places and the space is useless. With every room we have planned we have made sure that occupants can fit comfortably without feeling cramped.

    6. Because we are working with a small amount of space we have had to plan rooms to be on the small side. To keep them from feeling cramped we have tried to incorporate as much open space as possible on the main floor and in the bedrooms we are planning for adequate windows to open the rooms up.

  12. Katherine Platzer says:

    In studio KP, we have used already used some strategies in Box 6.1 but there were some others that could be very helpful:

    1. Before we determined square footage of rooms, we placed beds, nightstand and other necessary furniture items and then put our walls up around it. This was very helpful because we could figure out exactly how much space was needed for these rooms. We did not waste space and make the rooms too big but we also did not make them too small and unusable. This also help us place doors in the ideal location and windows in the ideal locations.

    2. Something that Studio KP did not think about was determining how to maximize the vertical space. This will be something that we need to do when we start space planning and start determining shelving and storage space. We have started to use our vertical space to maximize out window locations. Light is very important and we want to try to get as much light in as possible. Maximizing the windows horizontally will help us do this.

    3. Something that Studio KP struggled with was the hallway space. In a couple of our plans, we had an excesses of hallway space that was being wasted. To solve this, we could add that space to extra rooms or use that space as storage closets because storage will probably be something that is limited in the home. To effectively solve this problem, brainstorming will have to be used as well as research to see what products are out there and what other people have done to solve this problem.

    4. Designing multipurpose rooms is a great idea. I know Megan said that by limiting the flexibility of spaces, we are limiting the number of possible clients/buyers. By designing multipurpose rooms, this gives potential buyers plenty of flexibility to use these rooms in a way that will fit their family the best. This can be done by creating bedrooms that can be an office or an extra family room, and by using an open floor plan so that if certain things needed to be changed, the space can give them the flexibility. By creating a kitchen that also has eating space also serves and a dining room/breakfast area. This gives you more space in the home to use in other ways.

    5. By determining the ideal space for the needs of the users creates a space that doesn’t leave a huge footprint but that also works for the family. After talking to Jared, the possible buyers of these homes would be small families (single family housing), either just beginning or later on in life that are already conscious of the sustainable lifestyle. This means that the space we create will a)have an appropriate number of bedrooms so that we do not create bedrooms that will not be used and b) since they are already consciously aware of the purpose of this community, they will understand the goal of a small footprint.

    6. We can also lessen the perception of small rooms with strategies of design. To do this we could create half walls, windows, and other expansive features. An open floor plan will also help us deal with this problem. An open stairway will help the users not feel restricted and make the rest of the home feel larger. And half walls are a great way to specify certain areas but not close them off completely. Aesthetically, light colors will make the space fell “airier” verses dark colors that make a room feel smaller.

    7. Plan for anticipated changes in equipment and technology. This is a big one that i don’t think studio KP has thought about yet. With new technology being created at such a fast rate, we can not make permanent decisions in the advent that it needs to be changed later. This can be done by first researching and then by looking at our design and making sure the decisions we make are flexible and can be worked with later on the the families life. This will increase the sustainability factor if renovations or other changes are not needed later on.

  13. David Estes says:

    In studio KP we are going to and have used many principles of the spatial strategies.

    1. “Plan the appropriate square footage for the required activities”. This was one of the first things we had to do as a group. After creating bubble diagrams we had to figure out the amount of square feet needed to perform tasks and activities throughout the home. Through measuring, NKBA Standards, and industry standards we were able to create the appropriate square footage needed in each room to facilitate the activities we anticipated would be occurring.

    2. Since the home on plot 15 is not large, to get full use of the space and create an even feel we had to pay special attention to the principle, “position doors, windows, and openings in locations that support furniture arrangements, activities, and circulation”. In every room that we created we placed doors and windows in positions that allowed for multiple furniture arrangements. We did not want to limit the homeowner to one way of placing the furniture. Many of our windows are clerestory. This is for privacy, sunlight, and creating open wall space. We tried for a design that flowed well and on the main floor we tried for a almost barrier free feel.

    3. When creating the space plans we knew that we did not want unused spaces in the home. So, we had to “determine the ideal number of rooms for the needs of the users”. We brainstormed and were able to come up with lists of the rooms we wanted to have in the home. Then we went over and saw how and if they could be accommodated. We researched and saw what most homeowners in this price range want and what was reasonable for our space. Then we were able to create the type and number of rooms that we felt were going to be useful to those living in the space.

    4. For the space on plot 15 we knew we needed to use the space wisely so we looked into how to “identify effective use of vertical space. In our kitchen we added top cabinets which are very popular and we have floor to ceiling built-ins at various locations. Our main way was by adding celestory window near the upper portion of the walls. By doing this we are giving so much more wall space that allows for different and more furniture arrangements (important to buyers). We felt that it gave privacy but it is a detail that is fitting to the aesthetics of the home while conserving space.

    5. The last strategy we wanted and have used was “reducing or eliminating hallways”. For the space we are given hallways are very wasteful and unnecessary. We were able to create a small central area for doors on the top floor that maximized the space. On the main floor we tried to have as open a floor plan as possible and just eliminate the need of a hallway.

  14. Tiffany Ward says:

    In terms of size and orientation, Lot #15 presents many challenges when aiming to maximize square footage. I found the following spatial strategies particularly helpful when brainstorming and planning potential floor plans:

    1. Reduce or eliminate hallways—not only are hallways wasted space, but sometimes they make spaces feel smaller and tighter than they really are. Our team aimed to find ways to make hallways shorter, or at least find functional uses for the hallway wall spaces, so it’s both a transitional and a functional space. For instance, we located the laundry room in the hallways leading to the master bedroom. Hopefully, this will be a good space planning technique because it locates the washer and drier near where the clothes naturally gather and uses the hallway for laundry “room” functions.

    2. Design for multipurpose rooms—I love the idea of multipurpose rooms. I think many of the best designed spaces not only function well for the specific tasks assigned to the room but function well for any activity. Beyond making rooms the appropriate size like we are faced with now, I think cabinetry and built-ins and storage are key in making rooms functional for multiple purposes.

    3. Plan appropriate locations for short and long term storage—although often forgotten, storage is so crucial when planning functional spaces. In one of our plans, we were able to incorporate three walk-in closets. I think concealed closet and storage space is so important because everyone has clutter, but if we can “hide” the majority of the messiness and aim to keep the activity spaces tidy that makes performing the tasks easier and overall more efficient in whatever amount space we are given.

    4. Plan for safety, security, thermal comfort, noise reduction, daylight, views to the outdoors, and natural ventilation—I think planning for noise reduction is extremely important when planning home spaces, especially for those in our target market who have children. In two of our group’s plans, we really tried to keep the master bedroom away from the noise of the house’s common areas and the other bedrooms. The master bedroom should be an oasis, no matter how big or small. I also think planning with consideration of the potential views can be very beneficial. When trying to make smaller rooms feel more spacious, large windows inviting the outdoors in can be helpful.

    5. Though we did not always determine the size and shape of the room after placing furniture, our group definitely thought about furniture placement as we incorporated windows and doorways and closet space in hopes of maximizing every square inch possible. If furniture is pre-existing when a house is being designed, I feel as though this is the very best planning option because it allows you to make sure there is room for all the need pieces and a distinct circulation path through the room.

  15. Kimberly Love says:

    1) Create and an appropriate balance between positive and negative spaces – In studio KP, we have tried to maximize the spacial perception by limiting the amount of positive space. I believe by increasing the negative to positive space ratio, a small space will appear larger. Positive space comes across as heavy and visually breaks up the space. In homes with a lot of space, positive shapes and forms can create division, which is the desired result. Therefore, balancing the space and creating enough negative space will make the space seem larger.

    2) Position doors, windows, and openings in locations that support furniture arrangements, activities, and circulation – This is a very important part in our role as Interior Designers. We naturally space plan a room for its specific activity. In this project, we have the knowledge about furniture layout to maximize the effectiveness of the space. The use of clerestory windows and an open floor plan will make the floor plan flexible for the resident’s furniture.

    3) Plan appropriate locations for short and long term storage – We have incorporated as much short-term storage as possible in our space. I think we could improve on long-term storage. Currently, we don’t have any closets or storage rooms to hold seasonal items or larger storage items. That is one thing we could improve and maximize the plan, especially in areas where there is wasted space.

    4) Use alternative methods to walls and partitions, such as steps with low risers; alternating ceiling heights; or changing surface materials or textures – I think this is a wonderful strategy we should implement in our house. The ceiling heights can define a space without creating a barrier. We have talked about alternating textures to create interest, but it would also be a good idea to use them to define different zones. The steps may not be a good idea for our house, because the ceiling height is so low that it would dwarf the space and make it feel too tight.

    5) Specify furniture that is the appropriate scale – Our style for the house gives way to sleek, visually light furniture. Once we begin to spec furniture, I believe we would choose things that are not too tall or heavy. This, again, would create visual lightness.

  16. ellie christopher says:

    After working with my group I believe that our design could benefit from several of these concepts.
    1. I think that if you determine the correct number of rooms for the client then they feel like the home is perfectly suited for them and they feel like they will not be paying for spaces that they will never use. In a home this size maximizing all of the space that you have is very important.

    2. Planning the appropriate amount of square footage for each room and the activities that will take place there is really important. The rooms such as the living room and kitchen are places where groups of people tend to congregate and so it is important to make sure that enough room is delegated for these spaces. If you can pull a few feet from other less utilized spaces to make other ones larger you should do that carefully.

    3. Planning simple and direct pathways is crucial. If you can reduce the amount of wasted space in hallways then you can use that space to make bedrooms and living areas larger. When working in a space as small as ours 3 feet can make or break a rooms creation.

    4. Multifunctional spaces are a great way to maximize space. If you can get rooms to flow together without having several walls to break it up the whole space feels larger. I know that my group was trying to make our home feel as large as possible like you got the biggest bang for your buck.

    5. The placement of doors and windows is extremely important. An awkwardly placed door can make the room smaller and reduce the amount of useable wall space. IT can also make getting into the room feel cramped and awkward. We found it very hard to make sure that all of the rooms were inviting and as spacious as possible.

    6. It is also important to make sure that every amount of space that you have it utilized in a practical and functional manner. This way you can add storage in places that would otherwise be wasted space.

    7. It is also important to chose furniture that is appropriate in scale. Our plans are very open and spacious so when choosing furniture we will have to be careful not t choose anything that is bulky or too large in scale

  17. Anna Averett says:

    1.Located walls and partitions that support furniture arrangements, activities, circulation, daylight, views to the outdoors, natural ventilation, and safe egress:
    We minimized the number of walls in order to create a more open plan than allowed for adequate natural lighting and provided circulation path around the home. For example, in one plan we used the wall of the study/bedroom on the first floor to support the bookcase and living room arrangement. This directs traffic around the living room seating area and through the kitchen, right into the back door; thus, the circulation path does not interfere with activities in the kitchen or living room. Our group also kept ADA standards in mind, and tried to leave some extra space in high traffic areas.

    2. Reduce or eliminate hallways:
    At first, our floor plan had an overabundance of hallways, because we were trying to ensure privacy in such a small space. Now, we have developed some alternative plans that eliminate some of these hallways and provide an more natural and accessible entrance. Too many hallways means too many extra walls and too cluttered of a space. So, it is imperative that we reduce the number of walls and open up the space. Our team managed to create an overall open floor plan that includes the kitchen and dining area, living area, and entrance hall. This helps this smaller space seem much larger and more interconnected, giving the house a good flow.

    3. Plan most direct routes for circulation:
    Our group has focused a lot on creating fluidity throughout the rooms for natural circulation. We’ve had to rearrange furniture arrangements and wall placements in order to try and accommodate the natural flow of people who will be circulation throughout the house. Entering from the driveway, the homeowner walks through the kitchen, and then is easily directed behind the living area back towards the more private rooms and the upstairs area. I think it’s extremely important that the house feels open, and not so choppy, as small houses often do. Because we are working with such a small space, it is important to pay close attention to furniture arrangement to ensure that circulation can slow smoothly throughout the living space. As Interior Designers, our job is to provide comfort and facilitate daily activities to be enjoyed by our clients. In order to provide this, we must plan appropriately.

    4. Determine ideal number of rooms for the needs of the users:
    First, we thought about who exactly our target market was: demographics, ages, number of family members, activities, and how long each demographic might live in the home. The room downstairs can either be a study or a bedroom, depending on the client’s needs. Upstairs, the master suite is accompanied by another bedroom, which can also be used as a multipurpose room, or even a laundry room, if needed. Since this is a spec. house, we felt that a 2 or 3 bedroom home would be most accommodating for future homebuyers.

    5. Plan vista openings to adjacent rooms: kitchen, dining area, living area:
    The first floor is very open, so it seems as if the kitchen, dining area, and living area are all in one large room. Since the house itself is so small, this aspect is important in order to avoid feeling cramped. We also have a 2 story back porch so that a view of the greenspace area behind the house can be enjoyed on both stories.

  18. Katie L Robertson says:

    After looking of the suggestions that Winchip has in box 6. I realized that there are a few strategies that our group has already been trying to implement.

    One thing that we have been trying to consider is, Plan the appropriate square footage for the required activities. Even in past projects I have planned for large bedrooms and bathroom. Winchip is suggesting that we consider the square footage for how much time and actual space we need for rooms. The kitchen should be relatively larger because so much happens in the area while in a bedroom all we use this space for is sleeping.

    Lessen the perception of a small room by strategizing the elements and principles of design. I feel this is a great suggestion and strategy. For example in one of floor plans our group has been developing we have made the kitchen, dining room, and living room all together, but using cased openings to actually define each room. By doing this we feel it will make each of this room feel very open and bigger.

    Design multipurpose rooms. If you are able to make a space function for more than one activity you are able to minimize the square footage.

    Reduce or eliminate hallways. This is one great way to eliminate dead space in a house. Hallways are one part of a house that is not actually being used to live in. There are not activities that can be used in the hallway. By making these smaller or even getting rid of them you can maximize the space used in a house as well as the footprint.

    Determine the ideal number of rooms for the needs of the users. By making sure that you don’t have to many rooms for a client you can be confident that there won’t be any spaces later on that are not being used.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: