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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Front Porch

Some people have asked why we have designed the Brytan houses with steps up to the front porch.

Raising the floor level of the homes accomplishes several things. The first is added privacy. As the houses get closer to the street, we can create a vertical distance that defines the private space of the porch as distinct from the public space of the sidewalk. Even if the house is only a few feet away from the street, people walking by on the street have a vantage point from a significantly lower eye level than that of the occupant - not dissimilar to being on a balcony. The result is that higher density living does not compromise privacy.

From the perspective of sustainability, separating the structure from the ground reduces the potential for moisture intrusion, susceptibility to termites and other insects and pests, and wood rot.

The height above grade does not prevent us from designing for universal accessibility. The configuration of the lots make it very easy to provide a level entry from a side or rear approach to the porch or directly from the garage. In this way, we can maintain the privacy and comfort level for all occupants.

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