COLLECTIVE RESILIENT HOUSING
Project by: Taryn Wefer and Naomi Patel
Instructors: Keith Krumwiede and Martina Decker
This urban proposal for a new Union Beach is a comprehensive strategy of
resilient design, from large-scale hydrological strategies that affect the entire
coastal area, to small-scale neighbor-oriented water management. By
creating a completely new type of living that is both protected from water
and in harmony with water, this new Union Beach is identified not only as an
environmentally and economically sustainable place to live, but it is also a
place of refuge during the inevitable storms that devastate these coastal
This new urban strategy occurs in phases, ultimately consolidating the
residents into a berm-protected area surrounded by constructed wetlands.
First, the endangered houses in this coastal region are identified and
temporarily relocated. The berm and wetlands must then be constructed.
When building the new residences, the houses nearest the existing
community are one to two story and they increase in elevation as they get
closer to the coastline. The protected community uses many hydrological
strategies to be as autonomous and sustainable as possible. The berm, as
the largest scale strategy, protects the community from flooding. The next
scale is the storm-water that is collected and reused for grey water, as well
as the storm-water runoff being slowly absorbed by plant life in bioswales.
Lastly, the wastewater is naturally filtered through the constructed wetlands
outside of the berm walls.
This project aims to be sustainable in three ways: economically sustainable
by creating an autonomous resilient community; environmentally sustainable
by reusing, recycling, and managing water effectively; and socially
sustainable by creating micro-communities that are self-sustaining while
sharing both spaces and resources.