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US: AMAZON BACKED ‘TOOLKIT’ FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

AMAZON-BACKED MODULAR HOUSING COMPANY PLANT PREFAB AND ARCHITECTURE FIRM BROOKS & SCARPA HAVE JOINED FORCES TO CREATE A PREFAB HOUSING ‘TOOLKIT’ AIMED AT THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING MARKET.

The Nest LivingHome toolkit is designed to give cities and non-profit developers a suite of designs that save money and can be delivered more quickly than traditional construction. By offering different options for different types of sites, the concept has the potential to become a template that could be used in a wide variety of applications at relatively little extra cost.

The kit includes a number of designs that can be built on unused urban lots throughout a city. They include a homeless shelter that can house as many as 224 people on a 50-by-150-foot lot, permanent supportive housing for families, and shelters that can be installed to run off -grid in parking lots.

A building can be completed in roughly half the time it would take with conventional construction methods.

With local community housing organisations having to participate in the open marketplace in terms of land, architecture, engineering and construction, costs for conventionally built “affordable housing” are in the $600,000-per-apartment-unit range.

Render – Nest LivingHome.

With designs for new Nest building yet to be completed, total savings are yet to be determined; however the most basic Nest module starts at US $57,900.

It is understood that the first organisation to use the kit will be a non-profit in Santa Monica that currently has a waiting list of 8,000 people looking for affordable housing. Reports indicate that LA County requires as many as half a million new units of affordable housing to meet demand.■


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