The Seattle Times reported a few weeks back on an attempt by Unico Properties to bring affordable housing to Seattle:
Several years ago, Unico lost some good downtown office tenants to outlying locations. Sperling says that when he asked the companies why they were moving, they told him most of their employees spent too much time commuting and couldn't afford to live in Seattle.
So, Unico turned to modular construction:
The company retained architectural firms Mithun and HyBrid to explore whether units could be built economically that might appeal to the design, environmental and technological tastes of young urbanites.
The result: the two Inhabit prototypes. The wood-frame units were built in a factory in Burlington, Skagit County, trucked to Seattle, and lifted by crane onto the plaza at the base of Unico's Rainier Tower.
For reference: Mithun, HyBrid Architecture.
[The Inhabit units cost] 15 percent less than a conventional project.... [and] the prototypes were built in just three weeks. Units could be put together while other work is going on at the site, and neighbors wouldn't experience as much disruption.
Features of the units include:
480 - 675 sf
studio - 1 bedroom
62 units total
floor-to-ceiling windows, a "green" roof to reduce stormwater runoff
Our previous coverage of prefabs being used for similar high-density developments:
author: Eric Pyne
publication: The Seattle Times
length: 950 words
publication date: May 27, 2008
(Hattip: Jetson Green)