A New Approach To Adaptable, Affordable, And Energy Efficient Housing Designed For Individuals With Autism (Poster)

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Chelsea Helms, Assistant Professor of Interior Design (Creator)
D. Jason Miller, Associate Dean (Contributor)
Dr.. Jamie Russell, Associate Professor, Director of the Appalachian Energy Center (Contributor)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: The autistic community is underrepresented in modern residential design, with only a few user-identified housing options existing nationally intended for the specific and varying needs of the disorder. Working in partnership with local 501c3, LIFE Village Inc., initiatives to design housing for adults with autism and related disorders to gain independence are proposed for Boone, North Carolina. The goal of the LIFEmpowered homes is to provide energy efficient, adaptable, affordable, client-centered prototypes for individuals on the autistic spectrum. As autism is a spectrum disorder, individuals experience the disorder differently, which provides many opportunities for considering design “solutions” to be versatile for individualized needs. Research included relevant literature and architectural precedent studies, client observations, interviews, visual preference surveys, and spending time with intended users. In order to meet determined needs, design goals, outlined in the acronym “SMART”, were defined: Sensory, Modular, Autonomous, Resilient, Transition. The SMART home provides a whole-home adaptable sensory space, a modular design that could be built quickly and affordably, a home that fosters autonomy, a resilient home that could withstand the local climate and user impact, and a space that would allow for a low-stress transition from dependent to independent living. Designed to meet guidelines outlined by the US DoE Solar Decathlon Design Challenge, the 512 sf home provides environmental performance while providing flexibility for users. The LIFEmpowered homes can be adapted to meet differing climate zones, providing the possibility to deliver homes to individuals living with autism nationwide.

Additional Information

Helms, C., Miller, D.J., & Russell, J. (2019). A New Approach to Adaptable, Affordable, and Energy Efficient Housing Designed for Individuals with Autism (Poster). RECAPP 2019, The Office of Research. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC. NC Docks permission granted by author(s).
Language: English
Date: 2019
RECAPP 2019, Affordability, Energy Efficiency, Autism, Interior Design, Architectural Design

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