In 2015, the DC Living Building Challenge Collaborative sponsored the Affordable Living Design Competition (ALDC). Over 20 teams from the DC area and beyond worked to design a small community (10-15 units) of single family dwellings capable of meeting the Imperatives of the Living Building Challenge without resorting to currently allowed Exceptions under that rating system.
The Kitchen is a room in the house that is commonly remodeled, usually every 20 years, or when you first move in, or when you are planning to move out and want to sell the place. Most people spend a fair amount of time in their kitchen and it get’s a lot of wear and tear. Appliances break down or go out of style. Cooks have different needs and habits and want a space that works well for them. We want our kitchens to be functional and beautiful. When my wife and I moved to DC, we had just gone through a kitchen remodel in Cleveland (not realizing that we’d be moving), and we were in no mood to do that again, at least not right away. Our DC kitchen was actually brand new, having been installed to flip the house. It was serviceable (the layout was OK and the appliances worked), but that was all that could be said for it.
The cabinets were white thermofoil over particle board, and the finish carpentry was crap (the sole purpose of adding trim is generally to cover gaps and mistakes, but at even this modest task, the installers had failed). The doors were too small but the fascia was extra wide, so while there was plenty of room in the cabinets, you had to turn your plates sideways to get them in (which bugged my wife something fierce). Eleven years later, we decided it was time for an upgrade, and we wanted to get a few years of use out of it before we had to move again.