A lack of housing is a major concern in many large cities here in the United States. Jobs may be available in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, but the cost of rent or to own a home can make these jobs unobtainable for many who qualify. The problem will only continue to grow as the population within cities increases.
Young designers at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia, think they may have found a funky, high tech, yet affordable way to overcome the real estate shortage. Called SCADpads, these housing units are very small. Standing at only 8 X 16 feet, they are made to fit in one average parking space. For what they lack in volume, they make up for in convenience, affordability, and technology. The SCADpads can be placed in parking garages, parking lots, or anywhere else that small amounts of space may be available.
As an experiment, the College has set up a beta SCADpad neighborhood in their midtown Atlanta parking garage. Here, they have three homes, taking up 8 parking spaces. Each unit has their own backyard garden area, as well as a community area which is shared by all three homes. The community area features additional gardens, and most importantly, a workbench equipped with a 3D printer. The 3D printer acts almost as a local store.
“A big part of what we have here is the ability to custom-adjust,” says Victor Ermoli, dean of the school of design at SCAD. “If you need a cooking pan, you go to the bench outside and print that. Whatever your needs are, you can meet them.”
Residents can use the printers to also customize the interiors of their homes. They can change out the walls with customized 3D printed designs, print out decorations, or just create things that they need for everyday use.
In addition to 3D printing being a major part of these homes, they also feature some other cool technologies. Each home is controlled almost entirely by a tablet. The walls can be set up so that when touched they make specific sounds such as bird chirps, or dog barks. The bathroom mirrors remind residents to wash their hands, and windows can be frosted over for privacy, with the touch of a button. The designers have also implemented a pretty technologically advanced system which can harvest the sunlight entering the sides of the parking garage, and than direct it with fiber optic cables towards the Garden area.
These homes may be a few years away from actually being constructed. However, at a cost of just $40,000 a piece, they could make a significant dent in the problems being caused from the lack of housing in major cities. The homes take just 2 months to construct, and would cost approximately 40% less than traditional housing units to rent.
Tours of the SCADpads are also available on the following dates if you are in the area.:
- Saturday, April 26, From noon-3 p.m
- Sunday, April 27, From 1-3 p.m.
- Sunday, May 4, From 1-3 p.m.
- Saturday, May 24, From noon-3 p.m.
- Sunday, May 25, From 1-3 p.m.
- Saturday, May 31, From noon-3 p.m.
- Sunday, June 1, From 1-3 p.m.
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