Sioux Falls, South Dakota like any city, has or will have aging neighborhood areas targeted for revitalization. The Affordable Housing Solutions project consists of an 8-unit infill townhouse within an older traditional neighborhood. A LENSES workshop was held to provide a forum for neighborhood and public input, and was attended by neighbors, local businesses and residents of other housing units within the same program. ​

“LENSES brought a heightened sense of teamwork between Owner and Architect, it was a great way to include people who are not normally in the process related to one particular project.”

– Stacey McMahan, Principal, Koch Hazard Architects

Goals that came out of the workshop were resident and organization-focused such as designing for privacy and a sense of place (resident) while attaining a high level of energy efficiency, low maintenance and an aesthetic that fit into the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood (organization). The project process empowered the local community because it was given an opportunity to be heard, and challenges the negative stigma associated with affordable housing. Turnover is the lowest of any of the buildings in the organization’s portfolio, and with an Energy Star 3 certification, energy use is roughly a third of the average.

Images courtesy of Jesse Wilkens