Attain This!
Long Island, NY
Currently in Design Development, 2011

Architects: Tobias Holler/HOLLER architecture & Matthias Altwicker/AB Architekten
Environmental Consultant: Ana Serra, Buro Happold
Mechanical Engineer: Sergio Sádaba, Buro Happold
Lighting Design Consultation: Mitul Parekh
Competition Team: Jamie Abrego, Vinny Ciaramella, Anthony Gerakos, Thomas Lazzaro, David Sepulveda
Design Development Team: Trent Christensen, Natalie Jaggernauth, Samuel Lee, Eniel Zamora
Modelmakers: David Hernandez, Samuel Lee, Anthony Lord, Nick Renzulli

Attain This! is a high-performance and cost-effective building prototype which provides an affordable, flexible and healthy environment for its occupants.
The kit of parts of the building consists of just a few components. The structural insulated panel system (SIPs) provides a tight, thermal bridge-free envelope and structural shell. Along with the panelized exterior cladding, it can be quickly assembled without highly skilled labor. Interior spaces are subdivided into flexible and fixed zones by a modular, built-in storage system constructed with inexpensive furniture grade plywood. This allows for multiple bedroom/ office/ play room/ study scenarios and affordable live/ work options, providing a functional model for just about any type of family structure. The open south façade connects all flexible spaces in the house to the beautiful outdoor environment with its old growth trees.
The design stresses thermal performance to provide its owners with a comfortable house that can sustain itself without water or gas bills and much reduced electricity bills. The optimum massing and orientation capitalize on passive heat gains while the insulated slab on grade and the R49 SIP walls and R70 roof provide a superior building envelope. The small heating and cooling required is provided by using the ground’s year-round stable temperature via a ground-source heat pump, a single system to extract and reject heat. Energy recovery optimizes the efficiency of the ventilation system that distributes conditioned air to all spaces. The result is an ambitious Passivhaus compliant design with environmental energy requirements reduced by 80%, far exceeding LEED Platinum standards.
An integrated Net-Zero Water strategy relies on treated rainfall for all potable water, and treated greywater for all non-potable water. An on-site septic tank processes wastewater while allowing for treated effluent infiltration and aquifer recharge.
Cognizant that affordability ensures repeatability, the strategies integrated with the design capitalize on available incentives and rebates from federal, state and local agencies, such as NYSERDA, LIPA, etc. The rebates applicable to Attain This! total $24,000, resulting in overall construction cost of only $185,000.
The exterior space is a dynamic, productive and regenerative entity - fresh produce production in the front yard and restored, native Hempstead plains grassland in the backyard. The productive landscape helps to offset the high cost of fresh produce. The native habitat can, overtime, weave the single lots into a larger ecological corridor, restoring a natural/man-made balance.
Attain This! has been developed with a larger vision of suburban Long Island in mind. The building typology is optimized to fit most similarly oriented vacant lots, while the narrow plan allows for 2 houses to fit on any lot that is 100’ or wider. This option requires a lot subdivision but has potential for additional property tax revenue for the town and reduced property taxes for the owners of the smaller lots.


Competition Board 1