Gulf Coast Green 2019
Crossroads: Inclusive Exchange


“Houston Habitat for Humanity”
“Restoring Purpose in Contested Milieus”

*This is a two-part event*


Time and Location


9:50am - 10:40am

CE Credit






Houston Habitat for Humanity leading the way in affordable, energy efficient and sustainable, housing and community development in the Gulf Coast region.


Presentation on Houston Habitat's for Humanity’s design & implementation strategies for consistently producing high-performance, energy efficient and sustainable single family homes while engaging the community, businesses, future homeowners and an extensive volunteer network.  Using Houston Habitat’s unique production model of sponsorships, family sweat equity and volunteer builders, Schaefer will detail the design & construction of modest-size homes for low and moderate income families in one of the most challenging climate zones in the nation.  In addition, I will preview Houston Habitat’s expansion into creating sustainable neighborhoods with new home designs incorporating best practices for our climate while maintaining affordability. 



Kim Schaefer

Kim Schaefer has over 35 years in the field of architecture focusing on sustainability, resource conservation & environmental design. She founded TerraLogos: eco architecture, a “green” architecture & consulting firm (2002) & TL Green Home Services, a home energy audit & improvement firm in Baltimore, MD. Prior to leaving Baltimore, Ms Schaefer was awarded 2 honorary citations from the City of Baltimore and Maryland for her work in promoting green building practices.  

In 2015 Kim returned to Houston her hometown, recently joining Houston Habitat for Humanity as the Planning and Design Manager. Previously she served with Project Row Houses (historic Third Ward) working on community engagement/affordable housing initiatives.





Restoring Purpose in Contested Milieus


Beyond comprehensive architectural design this graduate studio has, for three years, engaged in university-community partnerships. The studio assists community not-for-profit partners with capital campaigns contributing thousands of service hours that represent tens of thousands of dollars in economic impact in the community. Partnerships presented complexities exceeding generation of clever design solutions for the adaptive reuse of the existing structures. Complexities such as – what is the role of the architect as mediator to social, political, environmental, and economic strife? In highly contested milieus the students’ creative acts initiated dialogues in the community and gave a voice to underserved community stakeholders.


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Kari Smith

Kari Smith, is a Professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette School of Architecture and Design. Her education culminated in a Master of Architecture from Rice University. As a designer and an educator, Smith seeks to maintain a critical engagement to design that modifies behaviors to improve social and environmental conditions, especially relating to water issues. Smith is Co-Director of the Coastal Community Resilience Studio, which addresses the dynamic interconnected human ecological system in the Louisiana Gulf Coast.