Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big philosophy and SchoolStreet Homes are mentioned in an article by Jeffrey Steele in Friday’s ‘Chicago Homes’ section of the Tribune.
Home, lean home
Designers, builders resolve to lose extra house flab
By Jeffrey Steele, Special to the TribuneDecember 30, 2011
Have you resolved to go on a diet and shed pounds in the new year? Why not also put your home on a diet in 2012?
It makes sense, said Sharon Kreighbaum, author of the new book “Is Your House Overweight? Recipes for Low-Fat Rooms” and owner of Staged Makeovers in Hudson, Ohio. When a house is overweight, it feels uncomfortable and sluggish and weighs on occupants, said the interior designer and home stager.
Bloomberg Businessweek published an article arguing for the value in transit-oriented development, T.O.D. meaning projects located in walkable communities with easy access to public or mass transportation. In the story, Shaun Donovan, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said, “The ghost towns of the housing bust are places that lack transportation options, that aren’t walkable. The average family spends 52 cents of every dollar they earn on housing and transportation combined, so the biggest opportunity is in development around transportation.”
Hursthouse Landscape Architects and Contractors create a rooftop garden on top of Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big® Showhouse located in Libertyville, Illinois. Here is the fantastic video they made of the installation!
The Showhouse is the focus of an article on the North Shore online newsletter Make It Better. Make sure to view the article and share it with your friends. The most-viewed stories make it to the print edition!
The SchoolStreet Development in Libertyville, Ill., includes architect Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big Showhouse.
Credit: Courtesy SchoolStreet Homes
Architect Sarah Susanka’s latest project is a showhouse demonstrating many of the architect’s design solutions for maximizing lifestyle within reasonable sqare footage—an approach she has famously coined as the “Not So Big House” architectural pattern. The showhome, which opened to the public this month, is part of a 26-home infill development built by SchoolStreet Homes on a Libertyville, Ill., “redfield” site—a term that refers to a financially damaged and dormant site, joining “brownfield” and “greenfield” in the lexicon of our industry.
“With all the challenges in the housing market, it’s clear we need a new vision for the way we design our homes, our communities, and even our lives,” Susanka says. “This is the first time I’ve designed a showhome that’s located within an existing small town and in a new walkable community that’s just off the town’s main street.”
The 2,450-square-foot home was designed to meet the new Energy Star for Homes 3.0 performance levels, as well as EPA’s Indoor Air Plus requirements, and is pre-wired for subsequent installation of rooftop PV panels.
The SchoolStreet development includes a historic school that’s being transformed into 15 urban lofts that will be available starting in the second quarter of 2012. It is within blocks of downtown shops and restaurants as well as a commuter rail station 30 miles from Chicago. “Even before we opened the doors, the showhouse design and the entire SchoolStreet community have been met with great enthusiasm from the public,” says John McLinden of SchoolStreet Homes. “We’re bucking national housing trends with 21 of the 26 homes sold in less than a year and five of the 15 lofts sold within the first eight weeks of being released to the public.”
Author and architect of School Street’s Not So Big® Showhouse, Sarah Susanka, is in town to speak in Mount Prospect. Sarah will be speaking about sustainable lifestyles and communities tomorrow, September 21.