NEW ORLEANS HOUSING

This design for the “High Density on High Ground” intends to create a home in the air with all the amenities of the typical New Orleans home including:  shaded outdoor garden areas, flow through ventilation and parking adjacent to each residence, and diverse living conditions with the opportunities for many levels of social interaction and the evolution of a sense of community.

The overall design for 160 residences consists of 88 one-bedroom units, 36 two-bedroom units and 36 three-bedroom units.  Each residence provides small outdoor garden terraces off the living and bedroom spaces.  The living spaces all have 12’-6” high ceilings.  The bedroom/ bathroom and service spaces have 8’-4” ceilings.  Half of the units have bedroom/ bathroom and service spaces on the same level as the living spaces and half have these areas one half level above the living spaces offering opportunities to look out over the living spaces.

Cross ventilation through the units is provided by means of tall sliding doors, windows, and screens that all slide into pockets mounted on the outside of the structural wall.  The pocket covers are a design feature that also act as storm shutters and can slide in front of the openings.  The small terraces adjacent to the living spaces also have pocketed sliding screens that allow these terraces to be either screened or completely open.

Each single bedroom unit has one private garage space accessible by a stair within the unit.  The two and three bedroom units have either a one or two car garage also accessible by stair within the unit.  The units that are all on one level have a full story stair that goes down to the garage.  The units that are bi-level have a half story stair up to the garage.

The complex includes a landscaped interior courtyard with full height trees, and a community center located in the middle of the courtyard. 

This landscaped courtyard also allows for amenities such as, a swimming pool, bocce ball court, and barbecue area.  The community garden is accessible at the ground level through open-air stairwells between groups of four stacked units.  Either stairs or elevators at each stair tower location access each residential unit.  Pedestrian circulation on the upper levels is provided by covered walkways that link all stair towers and elevators along with residential units.  These walkways also provide a place for social interaction and views into the courtyard.

The entire ground level is devoted to retail, including stores and restaurant spaces that provide private outdoor spaces adjacent to the community courtyard creating an intimate environment for dining and other social activities related to restaurants and cafes.  Although the retail spaces may be incorporated into the courtyard, a six-foot high garden wall separates the community garden from the retail spaces.

Heating and cooling of the units in addition to the flow through ventilation described above is provided by a system, which takes piped water from the Mississippi through a liquid to liquid heat pump that either extracts or adds heat from the complex to the river water.  The second loop of this system flows through basement level cisterns located at the base of each of the four unit modules. This cistern serves as thermal mass for the units above.  Each of the residences has a piped water system that flows between the cistern and the fan coil unit located within the unit.  Heat is either extracted or added to the residence through this system.  This system is highly energy efficient because it moves heat rather than creating it and liquid to liquid heat pumps are the quietest most efficient types.  In addition to the energy efficiency of the climate control system, the flat roofed areas are covered with solar photovoltaic panels, which would provide a renewable source for electricity of the complex and for future plug-in hybrid or electric cars.