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Home - for - Less

Background  

This project focuses on sustainability and integration of green technologies in design with social responsibility. The subject focuses on prefabricated housing solutions for the needs of transitional individuals within the local community. In collaboration with Emily Carr University Industrial Design students and University of British Columbia Wood Manufacturing students, this project aims to bring awareness and raise discussions on issue of homelessness in Vancouver, BC.

 

Approach

The concept development emphasized on fieldwork research through user observations and interviews with homeless individuals, community shelters, and support agencies. In teams of four, students collaborated with end-users to develop modular design solutions which can be adapted for use in the local community.

Employing simple connectors, the prefabricated wood frame structures would be constructed in components in a factory environment and assembled in place by the very people who would use them. One of the main project criteria included the stipulation that 30% of the building components would be outsourced from recycled/reused materials, reducing costs and exemplifying sustainable practices in new and creative ways. Using primarily British Columbia pine beetle wood in combination with recycled building materials, the structures, each 64 square feed, would be situated in groups of 10-12 around a shared kitchen and toilet facilities.

 
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Home-for-less

(In collaboration with Michael Johnson, Sandy Wang, Ben Toosi)

The Home-for-less prefabricated concept costs approximately $1500 (Cdn) per unit. An entire instalment of this micro-community could be made for about what is currently used to renovate a single suite in one of Single Resident Occupancy (SRO) hotels scattered around the city of Vancouver. Since completion, the project has been exhibited at the University of British Columbia, Bowen Island, and was later adopted for use by the British Columbia Housing Association.