Ivy Quad offers new housing opportunity
Tess Civantos | Monday, November 23, 2009
The new off-campus residence complex known as Ivy Quad doesn’t just offer its residents a warm community and control over their home design. It gives them the chance to live in one of the region’s first truly “green” multi-family homes.
“No other residential projects around the campus are seeking to obtain this level of sustainability,” Shawn O’Brien, one of the project’s architects, said.
O’Brien and his firm, Phase 2 Architects, designed the 10 buildings that will eventually stand on Ivy Quad. Only one building is completed and occupied but others are under construction.
Ivy Quad is also in the process of becoming “LEED certified.” LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, confirms that a building uses resources efficiently and sustainably.
“These units are 40 percent more efficient than the standard home,” O’Brien said. “That leads to a sizable cost savings and peace of mind knowing you’re living in a healthier environment.”
The location of Ivy Quad, which is across the street from the Notre Dame campus and within walking distance to local restaurants and Martin’s Supermarket, makes it easier for residents to reduce their carbon footprints.
Since Ivy Quad is still being built, residents have a unique opportunity to direct the planning and building of their future homes.
“We aren’t locked in to our design. We work with owners to determine best for them,” Julie Schwartz, a partner in the project’s development, said.
She said builders combined two units in the first building after one owner requested it.
Ivy Quad is open to undergraduates, graduate students, alumni and professors.
“Ivy Quad is open to anyone that would choose to purchase a unit and live there,” O’Brien said.
That openness is part of the community that is developing in Ivy Quad, Schwartz said.
“A real mission of ours was to build a little community,” Schwartz said. “Already our residents all know each other and that’s exactly what we want to see happen.”
Ivy Quad is appropriately named. It is built around an actual quadrangle of grass and is located where Ivy Rd. used to run before Twyckenham Dr. was expanded.
“The quad-based living environment will attract alums wanting to re-live their college days,” O’Brien said. “The building style is collegiate gothic, so it imitates buildings on campus.”
Although the architecture resembles campus, Ivy Quad homes are certainly not dorms.
“These are definitely homes with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors,” O’Brien said. “They’re very amenable to alumni visiting, with kitchens meant for entertaining.”
Schwartz, a Notre Dame alumnus, said Ivy Quad reminds her of her experiences as a student.
“You’re not disconnected from campus,” she said. “It’s just across the street.”
The closeness to campus and the environmentally conscious construction may be Ivy Quad’s biggest assets as it expands and seeks more residents.
“My overwhelming thought when I’m there is, ‘This is just right,'” Schwartz said. “It’s still a home but you’re right in the middle of all the action.”