WHAT: Habitat for Humanity Newark will announce the winners of an affordable townhouse design competition for Newark’s South Ward. A class of upper-level NJIT architecture students spent the past semester developing designs for affordable, green and sustainable multi-story and family attached townhouses. This event will name the winning designs. Next semester Habitat will subsidize internships for two winning student designers in a licensed architect’s office to help finalize plans. Construction is expected to begin by next September.
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 14, 2009 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: 7th Floor Loft at NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design, Summit and Warren streets, Newark.
WHO: NJIT students (13) and their designs; architecture professor Darius Sollohub; affordable housing expert architect Jak Inglese, of Rutherford; Habitat Project Manager Jim Corbett; Newark Councilman Donald Payne; NJIT President Robert A. Altenkirch.
WHY: Working with Habitat, students received real client input—a rare and valuable experience in a school program. They also created practical building plans that will eventually exist in wood and brick, not paper. By designing well-insulated single-family townhomes, instead of free-standing homes, the course maximized both affordability and energy efficiency. The use of shared walls furthered that goal by leaving fewer sides of the houses exposed to elements. The project hopes to obtain high (LEED) ratings for the homes, a designation which could earn state grants to underwrite up-front costs of ecological design elements, such as solar panels and underground geothermal water tanks.