Approach

Latitude 38 is a business that is a reflection of the people who work for and with us. The business is a vehicle through which we are able to make positive change in our community and to continue to push ourselves intellectually. There are a few core elements of our work that we feel are worth bringing attention to. Our projects are focused on residential urban infill. We believe construction should have the least impact on the environment as possible, while also serving a community’s need for safe, well-built, and functional homes. The key to every Latitude 38 project is whether we feel we would want to live on the street and in the house that we build. For this reason, there are certain traits that pass from house to house, such as infill sites close to other established homes, walkability to parks, amenities and entertainment, energy efficient designs, and creative designs that make every house a unique home.

Urban Infill

Latitude 38 is focused on taking advantage of pre-existing built out land to provide additional housing that takes advantage of close amenities and jobs, so that people are less reliant on automobiles and have the ability to interact with their neighborhood and community on a walkable street level. By focusing on developing urban land that already has access to pre-existing urban infrastructure and utilities, we are able to provide more housing without affecting greenfield space in the country. We strongly value maintaining green space within the urban core, but have found that there is often underutilized land that is best suited for additional building without affecting natural habitat.

Sustainability

We believe construction should have the least impact on the environment as possible, while also serving a community’s need for safe, well-built, and functional homes. At the same time, it is a fact that each new building requires raw resources. The lifetime operation of a building also requires energy, usually from coal, nuclear power, hydro power and natural gas. As building science has developed and increased demand has reduced cost, alternative building materials have become more accessible in the last decade. Latitude 38 seeks to decrease the usage of non-renewable energy sources and minimize the footprint that a resident creates through the building process. We bring this mentality to each project, as a way to decrease our physical impact on earth, but also to provide a healthier and more comfortable home.

We are trained in EarthCraft, Energy Star, Passive House, and USGBC’s LEED for Homes certifications. We are most active with EarthCraft Virginia, which was designed for our particular mixed-humid climate (cold winters, hot summers). For more information about our approach, please contact us.

Design

The design of each house is a unique proposition, which reflects the land, the surrounding houses, the neighborhood, and the future homeowners. While the design of each house is most noticibly its exterior aesthetic, the design also includes the interior layout, finishes, landscaping, solar orientation, air flows, indoor air quality, mechanical systems, lighting, sound control, maintenance and long-term durability. We enjoy thinking about all of these elements and finding solutions that meet many needs, while still have an emotional pull that makes a house a home.

Relationships

At Latitude 38, our whole team is essential to who we are. We created a company to have a professional home that suited our realtively unique personalities. So far we have been lucky enough to find others to work with and build for who share our values of respect for each other, community and our environment. Everyone is creative, a problem solver, works hard and, believes work should be fun. Our houses reflect our team and have brought us many new friends.

Standard Features

Energy Efficiency

  • Conditioned crawl spaces/basements
  • Insulated Concrete Form foundation system
  • Superior Wall foundation system (pre-cast concrete with insulation to reduce thermal breaks)
  • 1” thick rigid foam board insulation house wrap to reduce thermal breaks
  • Blown cellulose insulation in walls, open cell spray foam insulation in band boards and roof
  • High efficiency electric pump (17+ SEER with dual zoning)
  • Energy Recovery Ventilator uses internal temperature to reduce energy load
  • Low E argon gas filled windows
  • Energy Star appliances
  • Heat Pump Hot or on-demand water heater
  • Galvalume Energy Star metal roof

Indoor Air Quality

  • Energy Recovery Ventilator or fresh air intake add-on to HVAC to address indoor air quality and humidity issues
  • High performance MERV 11 air filters
  • No-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint
  • Low-VOC Stains, Varnishes, Sealants, Adhesives and Compounds
  • No-formaldehyde kitchen cabinets
  • Concrete kitchen countertops
  • No carpet
  • No vinyl
  • No attached garage
  • Ceiling fans for air circulation

Materials

  • Local tile
  • Hardwood flooring
  • Sustainably harvested or mill remnants wood flooring
  • Cork flooring
  • Advanced framing techniques
  • Engineered floor and roof framing
  • Fiber cement panel siding
  • Wood interior/exterior cladding

Water Conservation

  • WaterSource toilets (1.2 gallon low-flow)
  • Dual-flush toilets
  • Low-flow shower heads
  • Compact yards for low water use landscaping

Site Planning

  • Infill sites protects green space
  • Maintain trees on site whenever possible
  • Minimal window openings on western wall to reduce solar heat gain
  • Permeable driveways
  • Drought-resistant landscaping
  • Erosion control during construction
  • In-ground gutters and French drains

Waste Management

  • Recycle 95% of waste (cardboard, metal, plastic recycled)
  • 25% of cement in concrete replaced with fly ash or slag from coal plants
  • Cellulose insulation from recycled newspapers