The Demographic Home addresses the changing landscape that makes up the rural American household, which may not necessarily reflect what is thought of as a typical multi-occupant home. It’s becoming more common for the household to be comprised of multi-generational lineage, extended family, and even friends. The previous iterations of the two-bedroom 20K have focused more on the typical nuclear family. With the rise of a more diverse household living situation, there is a desire and need for a more flexible house that can fit a wider array of occupants. The previously-mentioned criterion was used as a basis for the design of the Demographic Home, along with designing for accessibility and ease of adaptability.
The principal structure includes a slab foundation and typical wood-frame construction. As with the rest of the 5th year designs, a new test and feature for the house is the use of Zip paneling for wall sheathing, which will hopefully provide a tighter building envelope and reduce labor cost. Not unlike other recent 20K designs, the choice of materiality was based on the consideration of locally available, durability, and constructability.
The major design features consist of a house divided into two zones. One zone includes a more centralized kitchen that is largely independent of the living spaces. This is a departure from recent design strategies that have a more open connection to the living space. Also included in this zone are two bathrooms. Previous designs of two-bedroom 20Ks have only had one full bath: by including a second bath, the hope is to make living conditions within the house more flexible. Laundry and storage are also in this area and the ends of the zone are capped with bedrooms. The generous division between the two bedrooms is more accommodating to different living situations.
The second zone is for living, which includes two flexible, independent living areas that are separated by a central screened porch. The idea behind the independent living spaces is to give some privacy and flexibility to the different living scenarios. One of the living spaces could also serve as a third bedroom. The porch will be used as a transition space between the interior and exterior and also serves as a means to draw light into the interior of the home. The porch will also act as the main entrance and central hub to the rest of the house.