A Sustainable Living Solution For Southern Minnesota
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Abstract: This thesis discusses the possibility and feasibility of designing sustainably in harsh climatological extremes. It more specifically covers the typology of single family residential dwellings, better known as townhomes. It is proposed through the theoretical premise/unifying idea that the definition of sustainable architecture and all areas of sustainable design for that matter, do change in terms of technical application from region to region, and climate to climate; keeping in mind that the underlying concepts and general goals remain the same. The justification behind this thesis is that without a sustainable approach to design and building, our ecosystem and eventually the human race will suffer the ill effects of poorly thought-out and inefficient solutions to problems. It is only through proper research and careful consideration that we can more responsibly use our natural resources, in turn creating and maintaining a healthier environment for ourselves and future generations. The townhomes being designed are intended for middle-class families ranging between two and five members. The development will consist of twenty single family units. These townhomes would likely be privately owned and operated by a small team of employees under the direction of a landlord. All units within the complex will include a master bedroom and bathroom, a modest guest room, closest and additional storage space, a kitchen and dining area, a great room, private laundry facilities, and based on unit size, additional bedrooms and bathrooms. Square footages per unit will range from 1900 square feet in two person units up to 3150 square feet in five person units. The site for the project is located on along the south facing bluff along county road 43 in Winona, MN. The main goal of this project is to create a sustainable living solution for first time home buyers/renters in a geographic region harboring harsh climatological extremes. This design is not to be completed lavishly, rather through modest yet inventive sustainable techniques, thereby remaining affordable for the bulk of middle class citizens. Prior to design, extensive research and case studies will be conducted covering the areas of site and typology, as well as historical matters concerning sustainable design. The bulk of the research will be done through a mixed method of both qualitative and quantitative means.