April 01, 2024

Sustainable Reconstruction for Healthier Housing in Memphis

How do we design healthy, energy-efficient, affordable, workforce housing for long-term residents?

A young designer, builder, and real estate developer, born and raised in Memphis, is transforming affordable and workforce housing to be energy-efficient, low-carbon, and healthier for all who come in contact with the lifecycle of the home. Averell Mondie, co-founder of Hopscotch Construction, is including HML and local architects, Office of Basic Architecture (OOBA), as crucial partners in this transformative project. He, and co-founder Aric Hotchkiss, aim to redefine perceptions of affordable housing among the new generation of young professionals, encouraging them to reconsider what it means to create and live in affordable homes. 

This vision begins with one house — a new construction, single-family home of approximately 1,442 sf designed to fit an existing slab. OOBA and Hopscotch created preliminary design drawings and HML has conducted an initial assessment of the proposed material matrix. Our role is to recommend healthier building materials and methods, considering cost, performance, toxicity, and carbon reduction for inclusion in the specifications. Our mutual interest is to identify and procure better products for as much of the building as possible. 

"It's about shifting mindsets. Just because we're building affordably doesn't mean we're building cheaply." -Averell Mondie, lead developer

The goal is to use the knowledge from the design and construction process of this single-family home as a template for a series of homes in the surrounding area. The local team is asking questions similar to HML’s research. “We know it’s about looking at materials closely and holistically” (Averell Mondie). Read more project details here


Exterior rendering, image courtesy of OOBA

Hopscotch Construction strives to establish a new standard for affordable housing. Through this partnership he aims to build homes that are attainable for people in the community and constructed with cost-effective materials that promote the health and well-being of manufacturers, builders, and residents. 

Expanding the impact

Dependent upon capacity and resources, the partnership plans to extend its impact beyond this initial pilot project home, applying the knowledge of building healthier to larger-scale developments, including multi-family homes. Through this collaboration, Hopscotch and OOBA will gain the tools and knowledge to achieve their goal of using healthier materials and products for all future affordable housing projects. The ultimate goal is to inspire others in Memphis and the Mississippi Delta region to adopt healthier building practices.

"If peers in my generation can see all that affordable housing can achieve, we will have succeeded." -Averell Mondie


Our project partners: Averell Mondie from Hopscotch Construction and Will Randolph from ooba

“We’re even more excited about the future because we are seeing more builders and developers with a similar mindset here in Memphis” -Will Randolph, AIA, lead project architect

Check out the project page with details and updates as the work progresses. 


HML project team: Leila Behjat, Jonsara Ruth

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