a small house design brief

Design and build a small house for a couple with two cats. The build out will be DIY. Total budget: $30,000. Design time frame: January 2013 - March 2013. Construction time frame: March 2013 - May 2013 (?).

_Project Questions

How much space does a family of 4 (a couple and two cats) need to be comfortable, when the space is designed to maximize function and efficiency?
Is the home off-grid, mobile?
Can it be easily disassembled and reassembled elsewhere?
Is the home part of a greater community of small homes or does it work in conjunction with an      existing primary residence?
Is the home for solely for living or working or is it intended for both?
How do the systems and materials contribute to the home's efficiency and cost savings?

_Design Questions

Can the house use off-the-shelf components, and other components not readily used in residential design (i.e. commercial/industrial) to maintain a tight budget?
Can the house maximize light and openings while still maintaining an efficient envelope?
How can the house live large by blurring the boundaries between outside and inside?

_Concepts and Concerns

Where will the project be located? Will it be a temporary location?
Who will participate in the construction... friends and family (work-party) or design/build volunteers?
Is there an overall conceptual design to be realized?
Can the project achieve affordability, efficiency and style?
Will the project be permittable, if so at what cost? (Structures under 200 square feet do not need to be permitted according to Portland code. 

_Important features

Low impact
Bioclimatic, Environmental
High Quality
Low maintanance
Easily Moveable


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