This was a design study applying Permaculture design principles to a relatively small urban lot, the site of an existing two-story colonial single-family dwelling. The design includes a broad spectrum of elements providing clean renewable energy, stormwater management, food production, greenhouse space and a chicken coop.
According to the permaculture model, all elements in the system are designed to support each other, providing habitat and nourishment for plants, animals and humans. Fruit trees are surrounded by plants designed to help fertilize the soil, control weeds and pests, as well as providing edible berries and herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes. Vegetables are planted in herb spirals and keyhole patterns which facilitate maintenance and harvesting. Compost bins process waste from the kitchen to create food for the plants. Rain water from the roof is collected in rain barrels around the property. The trees help shade the house and provide shelter from the wind, in addition to creating oxygen and mitigating the urban heat island effect. Everything on the site performs multiple functions and each function is provided by multiple elements creating a web of redundancy that makes the design more resilient and self-regulating.
The screened in porch and adjacent patio are surrounded by the garden, providing a tranquil respite from the nervous energy that pervades Washington DC.
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