Architect Doug Sandberg took a risk when purchasing a lot only 18 feet wide, which would be considered narrow for most rooms inside a house. But after traveling the world for several years he was ready to take on a challenge: successfully build, and live in, a beautiful, eco-friendly, and low-cost home, only 12.5 feet wide. Here's how he made it work.
Rather designing the house 'shotgun' style, which is typical of most narrow urban dwellings, Sandberg made the home split level, and organized it around a central open stair shaft — similar to the general design of the 16-foot wide house we previously featured. Because of the central stair and split level, each room can be accessed from one end, and the need for space-wasting hallways was almost entirely eliminated. Large windows are provided at each end of the house, and each floor is open in plan, so the space has an airy feel with lots of natural light and views to the exterior.
Sandberg also used the process as an opportunity to incorporate a variety of eco-friendly design elements, which included FSC-certified wood, cement fiberboard siding, cellulose insulation, cool roofing, a geothermal heat pump, Energy Star appliances, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and low or no-VOC finishes. The home garnered a three-star rating (the highest available) from the Chicago Green Homes Program.
Read More: House call | Narrow minded at Time Out Chicago