Living in a little home is a reasonable option if you have the land to put it on. It’s not really a question if you live in the country or even the suburbs, but if you’re a city dweller, finding a place to plant a house can be problematic.
Enter the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). They’re working on solutions for sustainable urban living by designing small houses that could conceivably fit into a parking space, enabling a person to live in a parking garage.
At present, there are over a hundred million parking spaces in America – some five spaces for each car. Half of those parking spots are empty almost half the time. There is a lot of empty room available for use as housing instead, providing it would fit. Such a structure would have to fit into an 8’ by 16’ space. (A 2017 Honda Civic measures 6’ by 15’.)
Micro-houses – the big picture
“SCADpad evolved from one powerful question: How can design change the world? As our global population continues to grow and concentrate in cities, SCAD, as a transformer in art and design education, has cultivated an entirely new vision of an urban community.” – SCADpad
The SCADpads are designed to be complete in every way for sustainable, comfortable living. They have kitchens, lavatories, and efficient living space all within 135 square feet. They are designed to share green spaces with other similar units in order to create a sense of community. The green space can contain a common garden fed by greywater and sharing recycling and composting to minimize waste.
Far from being cookie cutter domiciles, each home can be designed with the help of a 3D printer to fit the needs and personalities of the occupants. Even optimal use of sunlight is considered.
How long does it take and what does one cost?
The first three prototypes advanced from start to finish in ten months. They were put together by a team of students, teachers, and alumni, so when such units begin rolling off the line of a professional assembly line, one would certainly take less than two months to build. The cost estimate is $40,000.
What happened to the prototypes? They’ve been put in a parking garage on campus to be occupied by students for a few months to generate feedback on their practicality. Each of the houses has a unique theme, reflecting different cultures and tastes in décor.
The units include interactive control systems to optimize efficiency of power usage. The exterior and interior are also custom designed and completely individualized with modular walls. The sustainable waste management harmonizes with the efficiency and environmentally friendly theme. The high-tech foundation is illustrated by the availability of multipurpose, multifunctional three-dimensional printed furniture.
It sounds futuristic and attractive, and it might reduce your rent by as much as 40%, but would you live in a tiny home like this in a parking garage?