Along with Mobile Bay Magazine, WATERSHED is proud to present the first green Inspiration Home. We hope you come to visit, and take away some inspiration for your own home and garden!
The word green means many things to many people, and there are so many ways our homes impact our health and environmental health that it can be overwhelming.
To help break it down, we have organized the green and healthy attributes of the Inspiration Home into four major categories and 16 strategies, illustrated by this wheel.
During our in-person tours, we have placed scannable QR codes in each room so visitors can learn more about how the materials, products, and systems within the home contribute to the green and healthy design.
We hope that our Inspiration Home shines a light on how design can create positive impacts, promote health and comfort, support peace of mind, and make use of smart and sustainable materials.
Inspiration from Nature
The architecture of the Inspiration Home draws on diverse influences, from the Arts and Crafts movement’s embrace of craft as antidote to the homogeneity of mass production, to the ways that Cape Dutch and French Colonial design adapted traditional styles to a hot humid climate. We were also inspired by the original Fairhopers who loved the arts, were optimistic intellectuals, and drew inspiration from nature.
The architecture of the Inspiration Home is largely shaped by the site and climate.
The lot slopes ten feet from front to back, which allows for Covered Parking and a half basement (the Flex Studio) to be tucked underneath the main house, and more Landscape to be retained for the owners’ enjoyment. The deep roof overhangs shelter the home from both the heat of the sun and the intense rainfall of the gulf coast, and the windows and Skylight are placed to capture daylight for each room and introduce views into nature.
It is the second Zero Energy Ready and Indoor airPlus certified home in Fairhope and all of south Alabama.
The home takes a pragmatic approach to energy conservation. While this is a luxury home, WATERSHED used the same affordable green design strategies they have used with Habitat for Humanity and other affordable home builders to create a 50% energy use reduction.
After factoring in the rooftop solar array providing clean renewable energy, the Inspiration Home is projected to use 72% less energy than a benchmark home.
The interior design provides health and comfort by integrating natural materials, views to nature, interior plants, water elements, and dynamic natural lighting. Numerous studies show these “biophilic” design strategies reduce heart rates and promote positive mental health and wellbeing. Interior materials also promote health by eliminating toxic ingredients that could impair indoor air quality.
Smart Building Materials
Choosing smart building materials begins with the same kinds of questions that many people ask about their food: “where does it come from?”, “how was it made?”, and “can I pronounce the ingredients?”. Buying local , and screening for simple, clean ingredients is a great way to reduce the environmental impact of building materials.
Durable & Resilient
The home’s adaptable design and a resilient structure create peace of mind, but they also conserve materials by allowing the home to adapt to changing family needs without significant renovations and strength, and for it to weather storms and a harsh humid climate without deteriorating.
The low maintenance landscape is designed with both form and function in mind.
It is a Certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat, which means that it provides food and cover for migrating birds and butterflies as well as ecosystem services to the community in terms of pollination and stormwater management. The food forest and kitchen garden also provide food for the homeowners to use and to share. Look closely, and you will find every fruit and nut tree from Fairhope’s historic street names. This landscape is intended to be enjoyed and shared!
Whether you are interested in the design, the technical details, or both, we hope the Watershed Inspiration Home will capture your eye and your imagination.
Thank you to everyone who visited Mobile Bay Magazine‘s first green Inspiration Home designed by WATERSHED. A total of $13,600 was raised for the Alabama Coastal Foundation and Family Promise of Baldwin County! Both vital non-profits in our area, this money will be put to good use helping vulnerable families in our community and protecting our coastal environment.
Tickets and tours for the Mobile Bay Magazine 2021 Inspiration Home are no longer available.