novel infill housing schemes
March 8th 2013

Infill development in Phoenix a positive sign for housing

By Brittany SmithThe Republic | azcentral.comWed Mar 6, 2013 8:32 PM

Experts say the Phoenix residential real-estate market is rebounding, and one indicator of a turnaround is the appearance of new construction in the city's core.

Developers are jumping on available land in the heart of the city and turning those parcels into residential projects, according to Jim Belfiore, president of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting.

This type of construction inside the city’s core is known as infill building.

Read Republic Article HERE


novel infill housing schemes

Professional Builder’s House Review design team offers six infill housing design concepts.

By Larry W. Garnett, FAIBD, House Review Lead Designer
December 15, 2012

Infill construction continues to provide opportunities in almost every community. While we typically consider most infill sites to be located in large urban areas, they can also be found in many small communities.

Parcels of land with existing utilities and in close proximity to public transportation are often overlooked because they present numerous challenges. Certainly, local restrictions and difficult lot sizes can prove quite formidable. However, exciting solutions for higher-density housing that maintain the appropriate architectural character, scale, and mass are usually welcomed by city leaders and neighbors.

The following designs and concepts offer a variety of projects with presentations that clearly communicate the value of well-conceived infill design.

For past House Review reports, visit


Anne Postle, AIA, CAASH
Osmosis Architecture

Pland Size
First floor: 913 sf
Second floor: 960 sf
Optional third floor: 475 sf
Total with options: 2,348 sf
Width: 25 feet
Depth: 73 feet

The key to a successful narrow-lot infill project is a floor plan that blurs the edges between traditionally defined spaces and allows the plan to live large. The Edge project blurs the line between defined spaces, interior and exterior, and efficiency and flair. The 25-foot-wide floor plan lives large in both function and style.

A. Open living area blurs the edges between dining, living, and cooking spaces. These overlapping spaces allow the plan to live large.
B. The kitchen functions for both casual dining and party staging.
C. Outdoor and indoor living blend seamlessly.
D. The second floor blurs the line between efficiency and style. Every inch counts.
E. The optional third-floor loft provides ultimate flexibility.

Infill @ The Shopping Center

Richard C. Handlen, AIA, LEED AP
EDI International, Inc.

This infill project is on the perimeter of a large shopping center parking lot. The outer edges of the lot are typically empty, too far from the stores but adjacent to a mixed-use neighborhood. The addition of the proposed units takes advantage of the underutilized real estate, existing streets, and public transit with little impact on the parking for the shoppers. In some areas, the only impact on the existing parking configuration is the elimination of the outer stalls and reduced landscaping. To achieve this we used three-story wide/shallow units. The first level is devoted to the garage and entry. The second level houses a great room, and the bedrooms are located on the third level. The rows of units help to urbanize the public street while shielding the parking lot from view. The new residences help increase 24/7 activity at the shopping center.

A. Existing parking configuration
B. Existing landscape strip along a public street
C. Existing landscape strip against a neighboring property
D. Units with front doors facing the street and garages on the parking-lot side
E. The same floor plan at the side property lines with the front doors on the garage side.

Infill Remake

Donald F. Evans, AIA
The Evans Group

A national builder recently walked away from a mid-rise condominium community that has two 16-unit buildings unsold but completed, as well as unbuilt parcels of land. A local entrepreneur and attorney saw an opportunity to buy the remaining land and unsold condominium units. We analyzed the remaining site and determined that 32 single-family, higher-end homes would be best, and we designed the site plan utilizing most of the remaining roads, utilities, etc. We created a second gated entry to the homes and designed three home types: summit homes on the hill, park homes in the middle, and lake homes on the lake. Each home is three stories with elevators, lake views, pools, and all of the amenities today’s buyers are demanding.

A. Site plan
1. Existing units
2. Summit homes
3. Park homes
4. Lake homes
B. Streetscape elevation
C. Lake home floor plan – 3,629 square feet with three bedrooms, two full baths, and two half baths
D. While the cars are a short walk from each home, everyone travels through the landscaped courts, allowing interaction with neighbors.

4th Street Place

Rick Garza
RPGA Design Group, Inc.

Plan Size
First floor: 1,741 sf
Second floor: 1,383 sf
Total: 3,124 sf
Mechanical: 76 sf
Garage: 518 sf
Porch: 83 sf

The 4th Street Place project was designed for narrow lots in an established neighborhood. The lots are 35 feet wide with a zero lot line wall on one side. The homes are 25 feet wide and are entered through a courtyard entry door that leads to the main entry to the home. The homes feature Low Country architecture, with clean, simple lines but lots of character. They are spacious with a formal dining room, family room, kitchen, breakfast, master bedroom, two secondary bedrooms upstairs, along with a large flex room. The exterior incorporates deep overhangs with shutters for screening the hot sun.

A. Courtyard entry
B. Formal dining for entertaining
C. Great room with breakfast area
D. Master bedroom with sitting area
E. Game room or exercise room
F. Tankless water heater

Barnard Street Bungalows

Larry W. Garnett, FAIBD

With approximately 90 feet of street frontage and 370 feet of depth, this site presented an opportunity to create a cluster of small homes gathered around a series of landscaped common areas. The four single-family homes range from 980 to 1200 square feet. Each has a large front porch that faces a common courtyard.

The compact footprint of the two triplexes provides a great deal of flexibility for site placement. Each efficiently designed unit offers an open-concept living/dining/kitchen area. With the entrances located on opposite sides of the building, a high level of privacy is maintained.
The shared parking areas allow easy access without dominating each home. The location of the cars provides a daily opportunity for the residents to walk through the landscaped courts toward their front doors and talk with neighbors.

A. Triplex — each one-bedroom studio has approximately 700 square feet
B. Single-family cottages range from 980 square feet for a two-bedroom unit to 1,200 square feet for a three-bedroom model.
C. Courtyard

Home designs take aim at Generation Y

The latest residential designs are geared to Generation Y, a group that includes young singles looking for “starter” apartments, as well as older buyers who need space for growing families.

By Susan Bady, Contributing Editor
August 12, 2012

Project #2 - Maximizing density and livability

The “woonerfs” or “living streets” of Amsterdam influenced the design of Hazel 8, new rental apartments on the Case Western University campus. This rendering depicts one of the internal thoroughfares where pedestrian and vehicular traffic mix. Illustrations: Kephart

Small infill sites in urban areas offer great opportunities to serve Gen Y renters. Take, for example, Case Western University in Cleveland, located in an art and museum district, adjacent to two medical campuses, and across the street from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
When a shortage of student housing prompted University Circle (a conglomerate that controls the university properties) to consider building new apartments on-site, a group of architects was invited to submit ideas for the project. The contract was awarded to Kephart, a Denver-based architecture and community planning firm. Kephart adapted its conceptual design for small apartments for the Case Western project, now known as Hazel 8.

“There was a little stigma about bringing student rentals to this high-profile site,” says Kephart’s John Binder. “We thought we could cater to a slightly different profile with market-rate apartments that have their own front doors, similar to a single-family residence or townhouse.”

Another challenge was to maximize the density of the 1.3-acre site, which was formerly a parking lot. Kephart achieved 45 DUA with 59 total apartments, nearly twice the density of a typical garden-apartment community. Consisting of two-story apartments above one-story flats, the wood-frame buildings are also less costly to construct than concrete or steel, Binder says.

“We ended up with a 1-to-1 parking ratio, most of it alley-loaded, one-car garages beneath the apartments,” says Binder. Following a campus precedent, he created internal thoroughfares for garage and apartment access (it’s not unusual to have a garage on one side of the alley and a front door on the other).

“Except for a resident lounge, there are no common corridors or areas to heat and cool,” he says. “Interior stairs lead to the apartments. We’re trading out the efficiency of common corridors for a bit more expensive construction that allows us to get 45 units to the acre.”

WXZ Development of Fairview Park, Ohio, is developing Hazel 8, which is under construction and scheduled to start leasing this summer.

Kephart designed two-story apartments over one-story flats, with interior stairways for access. One-car garages are on the ground floor. Illustration: Westlake Reed Leskosky

Project #3 - Clever small-lot solution

Cantilevers make for interesting architecture at Four in West Los Angeles. The homes’ sustainable features include reclaimed redwood siding, fiber-cement panels, bamboo flooring, tankless water heaters, and low-e windows. Photos: Courtesy of Killefer Flammang Architects

The city of Los Angeles Small Lot Ordinance has spawned some innovative residential designs since it went into effect five years ago. The ordinance permits the construction of fee-simple, single-family homes on small lots in multi-family zones.

One standout example is Four — four detached homes on a 49 x 107-square-foot site designed by Killefer Flammang Architects of Santa Monica, Calif. Located in the West Los Angeles neighborhood of Mar Vista, Four was a collaboration of architects Wade Killefer and Barbara Flammang and their son, Joe Killefer, the project’s developer. Two homes face east and two face west, separated by 6-inch firewalls. A common driveway provides access to individual garages.

“What’s really good about this is the fact that they’re not condominiums,” says Wade Killefer. “Home buyers have been leery of condominium lawsuits.” The site is a mile from the beach and within walking distance of restaurants and shopping.

The potential buyers envisioned for the three-story homes were young, college-educated, working couples — not unlike Joe Killefer, a 27-year-old Dartmouth graduate and licensed contractor. He wasn’t far off; the homes have been purchased by young professionals, including a college professor and a public-radio executive. None of the buyers have children yet, but they’re planning to start families soon.

The kitchen, living, and dining areas are on the second floor, along with a powder room. “The glass stair treads are fun and different,” says architect Wade Killefer. “People really went wild for that.”

The homes are 1,500 to 1,600 square feet and have a bedroom and bath on the ground floor, adjacent to the garage, that can be a nanny’s quarters or a home office. The kitchen, living/dining area, and powder room are on the second floor, and there are two bedrooms and two baths on the third floor. Second-floor decks are large enough for a barbecue grill and dining area.

“All of the homes sold at asking price — just under $800,000 — before they were listed, for all cash,” Killefer says. “Our comps were condominiums.”

He adds that there are quite a few projects like Four going on now in Los Angeles. In fact, Killefer Flammang is planning eight homes on another site about half a mile away.

Killefer Flammang Architects positioned the homes at Four back to back on a tight city lot in West Los Angeles, separated from each other by 6-inch firewalls.

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