Last week GCCDS staff got the chance to visit with Jillian Lartigue and Marian Hanisko from NOAA Coastal Services Center. While the conversation covered a wide range of topics, GCCDS was excited to be introduced to Digital Coast. Digital Coast is a data center that provides coastal communities with information and tools to address complex coastal issues. Two of the many tools that Digital Coast provides are the Sea Level Rise Viewer and the Historical Hurricane Tracks. You can also take a look at your county in the Coastal Counties Snapshots database.
While the Coastal Services Center provides data, analysis tools, and training, their scope of work does not include providing specific recommendations for jurisdictions and organizations to address their unique and collective challenges. This is where the planners and designers at GCCDS can help!
During the past several months the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio had the opportunity to partner with Women in Construction and INL Construction for the Women in Construction’s first annual Blitz Build. Through a generous donation from Kaiser Permanente and the help of 35 Kaiser employees from all over the country who volunteered their time, the house was able to reach 60% completion in only 5 days! GCCDS had the pleasure of working with the homeowners: Jana, Jana’s mother, and her daughter, Mia, to design a house that would not only keep them safe from future storms, but would help be a part of their family’s new start in east Biloxi.
The Design Team with Mia
To see more photos from the week of the build and to hear firsthand accounts from the volunteers about their experiences click HERE.
GCCDS and the South Mississippi Housing and Development Corporation (SMHD) have successfully wrapped up the first phase of the Enterprise Community Partners Inc. pre-development design grant. This pilot program is intended to help enable the developers to define project goals, identify challenges, explore multiple design solutions and increase collaboration. The grant encourages lasting changes in the pre-development design process of affordable housing by providing an opportunity to bring together a diverse network of potential architects, the developers, city leaders and other experts to establish a robust development team from the onset of the project.
SMHD has chosen to focus on the senior living project “Villages at the Beverly” in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. GCCDS facilitated a unique, day-long work shop for 4 design teams compromised of architects from all over the state.
The workshop focused on the development of the program, history of the site and its relation to the city and potential green building strategies for the project. The day also included an opportunity for the whole development team to visit the site, and concluded with each of the design teams giving a short presentation about first impressions for the project.
The GCCDS and SMHD will meet with all of the design teams in 4-6 weeks to review their presentations for the Villages at the Beverly.