Manufactured homes are a popular form of housing that can be found throughout rural Western North Carolina. Though these homes are relatively affordable to purchase, they are not recognized as real estate–instead, they are classified as chattel like automobiles or boats. As a result, manufactured homes do not appreciate in value like other forms of housing. Similar to automobiles, manufactured homes depreciate in market value each day.
Although much work has been done on a national and international basis for “small home” design, no practical model has yet been developed with a focus on affordability. New Mountain Home will yield a high quality, flexible, green, and low-cost housing option rooted in the local vernacular and culture of both the southern Appalachian mountains and the City of Asheville.
ADC is partnering with Mountain Housing Opportunities to host an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow, Geoffrey Barton, who will lead this effort. Geoffrey will be working with us for three years, and he has already compiled significant amounts of research that will ultimately inform his design process.
The New Mountain Home will be designed with a set of principles that will allow it be constructed in both urban and rural contexts. Geoffrey will be responsible for researching and developing the principles that would guide the design and construction of such homes that might include the following considerations:
- Cost: Can a smaller home reduce costs while not compromising quality of living?
- Incremental: Can the house be designed to easily receive future additions as families grow?
- Flexibile: How can a basic and replicable prototype be developed but still have a unique character that responds to the diversity of people who need housing as well as the many unique site conditions (i.e., topography) that exist in our area?
- Sustainable: What kind of materials can create a healthy environment? How can the house be built to reduce energy costs, and long-term maintenance costs? Finally, if the New Mountain House program can scale up, how can it help train and develop new skills and jobs for local economies?