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Tackling housing crisis

Gizmag
Saturday, July 18, 2015

A TEAM from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has designed a shelter that it says can tackle LA's housing crisis in an environmentally-friendly manner.

The Backyard BI(h)OME is affordable, low impact and recyclable. What's more, it can be easily constructed in people's back gardens.

In his Sustainable City Plan, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has set a target of building 100,000 additional housing units by 2021. Professor at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and director of the university's cityLAB Dana Cuff says this can be achieved without needing to buy vacant land or bulldoze existing buildings.

There are just under 460,000 single family lots in LA with an estimated total of around 3800 acres of underutilised space in their backyards. This, coupled with recent legislation that made it easier to construct a second dwelling unit on each property in LA, is the basis for Backyard BI(h)OME.

The shelter has a footprint of just 350 sq ft (33 sq m) and is designed to minimize weight, material usage and waste, use non-permanent foundations, be easy to source and ship, be easy to disassemble and be recyclable or reusable.

Work on designing the Backyard BI(h)OME began in January this year and a pared-back prototype was displayed at the Broad Art Center in LA from June 10-17.








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