Rural Studio continues to develop a selection of house models. By pairing these houses with context-appropriate building assemblies, Front Porch Initiative offers housing providers design expertise and technical assistance in the delivery of high-performance homes. The Initiative works with partners to comprehensively consider home performance in our key areas of efficiency, resilience, wellness, and overall community impact. Altogether, Front Porch Initiative provides the information, knowledge, and know-how around each of these instrumental areas to help housing providers make informed decisions regarding both the quantitative and qualitative aspect of building performance.

To determine the suitability of a variation to a specific location and climate, Rural Studio has developed an evaluation criteria through which variations can be assessed:

  • Performance

    Performance refers to how well the home functions over time in terms of operations and maintenance. An assessment of the house’s performance should include the areas of:

    • Efficiency
    • Durability & Resilience
    • Health
    • Community

    Building to a measured standard allows homes to be tested and verified during the construction process to ensure that the home is property constructed to meet designed performance goals.

  • Cost

    Cost is an important part of every project. A cost evaluation should consider not only the first cost of the house (the cost of construction), but also the cost of operations and maintenance over the home’s life. This assessment of the “total cost of homeownership” (sometimes referred to as the “life cycle cost”) gives a comprehensive picture of what the house affords the homeowner.

  • Know-How / Constructibility

    There are many different approaches that yield similar performance outcomes. Some assemblies and construction techniques may be more or less conducive to certain delivery methods. Building on the knowledge set of the builder or housing provider can result in savings in term and also produce higher-quality outcomes.

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