Biloxi Model Home Program


Building Type: Residential – Single Family

Themes: Affordable/Cost-effective, Award-winning, Climate – Temperate, Context – Suburban, Context – Urban, Disaster Mitigation – Flood-resistant, Economic Development/Livelihoods, Energy – Efficiency, Green Design/ Practices, Participatory Design, Solar – Active

Location: Biloxi, Mississippi, United States

Since Hurricane Katrina, Architecture for Humanity has been working throughout the Gulf Coast to help families repair and rebuild their homes. Our funding has supported everything from property surveys, to assessments to creating construction guidelines and standards to the design and construction of homes. Through this program the rehabilitation of hundreds of partially destroyed housing stock is under way. However, for true long-term reconstruction we need to address the way we build in hurricane prone communities.

The goal of the Biloxi Model Home program is to provide design services and financial assistance for the construction of homes that for families in Biloxi, Mississippi whose houses were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Families are paired with a team of professional designers who work with them one-on-one to design a new home for their property that is not only affordable but is also sustainable and meets the area’s new building requirements.

The pilot program is unique in that it offers families the opportunity to work one-on-one with architects and design professionals giving them access to expertise and design talent. Using the latest in materials research, disaster mitigation and sustainable building techniques, we see this as an opportunity for architects to help set the bar for new construction in the area. These designs address sustainability not only from a material and energy use stand point but in a community development sense as well. Setting standards of design and construction at such a critical scale impacts the life of the community itself. By rebuilding responsible homes in a devastated community families have a real base for contributing to the reestablishment of their community, rather than just getting by until the next disaster.

This program approaches reconstruction in a mode that facilitates good design solutions by standardizing processes and partnership strategies as opposed to standardizing design. By this method disaster response programs may be established prior to disaster to allow effective relief in the critical time necessary.

To jump start the program, Architecture for Humanity invited twelve established local and national firms to create proposals for homes that meet the new challenges of disaster-mitigation in the post-Katrina environment. (Download firm profiles and concept designs.) In August 2006 these firms participated in a House Fair. The event was open to the public, but also served as a vehicle for seven participating families to meet and talk with the architects one-on-one and select a design team with which to work.

Through out the construction of these 7 homes different construction methods and materials were proposed and tested. The results of the near complete program provide community building partners with valuable resources.

In addition to sponsoring the Model Home program, Architecture for Humanity collaborated with the East Biloxi Coordination Relief and Redevelopment Agency, Hands On Gulf Coast and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio to bring volunteer designers and architects to East Biloxi and provide support for continuing rebuilding efforts.

Read more:

  • Parker Residence design by Brett Zamore Design
  • Nguyen Residence design by MC2 Architects
  • Tran Residence design by MC2 Architects
  • Desporte Residence design by CP+D Workshop
  • Robinson Residence design by Huff & Gooden Architects
  • Tyler Residence design by Marlon Blackwell Architect
  • Odom Residence design by Gulf Coast Community Design Studio


  • Helping Gulf Coast Communities Come Back Stronger Than Ever Oprah’s Angel Network
  • Homes get Furnished The Sun Herald
  • Biloxi Clues grist
  • Covenors of Capability strategy + business, Booze Allen Hamilton
  • Two Years in Katrina’s Wake Architectural Record
  • Design Steps up in Disasters Wake The NY Times
  • Gulf Coast Rising This Old House

Video Credits:

  • Narrated by Arik Tendler
  • Produced by Bowdon Hunt
  • Sponsored by CaesarStone USA

We are grateful to Oprah’s Angel Network and the following sponsors for making this program possible:
Thank you to all of our Architects, Contractors, and Professionals who have contributed to this program

  • Brett Zamore Design LLC Houston, TX
  • Community Planning and Design LLC Charlottesville, VA
  • Gulf Coast Community Design Studio Biloxi, MS
  • Huff + Gooden Architects Charleston, SC
  • Marlon Blackwell Architect Fayetteville, AR
  • MC2 Architects Houston, TX
  • Studio Gang Architects Chicago, IL
  • Paul Hendershot Design, Landscape Architecture Ojai, CA
  • House Calls Construction
  • Cox and Carr Construction
  • Express Constructors Inc.
  • Black Rock Engineering
  • Civil, Structural, and Forensic Engineers
  • Engineering Solutions
  • Enterprise, OR
  • Quality Engineering Services
  • Arup USA

In addition, we are grateful to:

  • Arup
  • East Biloxi Coordination Relief and Redevelopment Agency
  • Enterprise Corporation of the Delta
  • Gulf Coast Community Design Studio
  • Steven R. Meier, Jenner & Block LLP
  • Casius Pealer, Reno & Cavanaugh, PLLC
  • Warnke Community Consultants participating architecture firms
  • the residents of East Biloxi and our many volunteers for lending their time and their talents.

We would also like to thank the following who contributed their time and resources to this project:

  • American Forests
  • American Red Cross
  • Barbara Bloemink, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
  • Boat People SOS
  • Boston Society of Architects
  • Caesar Stone
  • Carlos A. Gutierrez, PE, CSF-PE Service Consulting Engineers
  • Chris Madden Inc.
  • City of Biloxi
  • Dal-Tile
  • Dan Etheridge, Tulane University
  • David Hardy of Guild Hardy Architects
  • DuoGard
  • Galloway Media Group
  • Geoff Manaugh, BLDGBLOG
  • Gulf Coast Community Foundation Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund
  • Hands On Gulf Coast
  • Hope Force International
  • Hurricane Katrina Relief Campaign
  • IBM
  • Interface Inc.
  • Isle of Capri
  • James Hardie
  • Javier Arbona, Archinect
  • John M. Moore, Jr., PE, 4SE, Inc
  • Karastan
  • Kohler
  • Land Trust for Mississippi Coastal Plain
  • Margie O’Driscoll, AIA San Francisco
  • Matilda McQuaid, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
  • McCormick Tribune Foundation
  • Michelle Sakayan of Sakayan, Inc.
  • Nancy Jenner, Boston Society of Architects
  • National Alliance of Vietnamese American Social Agencies
  • Newton Nursery
  • Nourison
  • Oprah’s Angel Network
  • Paul Hendershot, Landscape Architect
  • Reed Kroloff, Tulane University
  • Ric Bell, AIA New York
  • Richard Fitzgerald, Boston Society of Architects
  • Richard Koshalek, Art Center College of Design
  • Roger T. Roepke, PE, Black Rock Engineering
  • Sachin Anand, PE, dbHMS Design Build Engineering
  • Salvation Army
  • Samaritan’s Purse
  • Senox Corp
  • SPS New England
  • Steven Lewis, National Organization of Minority Architects
  • Ted Landsmark, Boston Architectural College
  • The Salvation Army
  • Tom Fisher, University of Minnesota
  • William D. Browning, U.S. Green Building Council

all of the volunteers and professionals who have given their time and efforts to this community


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