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Independent residential units attached or detached from a main house, providing rental or family housing solutions amid California's housing shortages.

These are examples of potential Acessory Dwelling Units. An ADU is a residential housing unit that can be added to a single family residence. It must remain independent of the main house and have a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom and a separate entrance. They can be attached or detached from the main house.They can be a conversion of an existing garage or new construction. Since 2017, when the California State Senate passed the first set of laws allowing for the creating of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU), I have been researching the laws of the new local city building, planning and zoning departments.

Each city has their own interpretations and adoptions of the state law. Because their rules are constantly changing, it can be quite a complicated process to design and permit a project. Nevertheless, the ADU offers a fantastic opportunity for both rental property or family housing. The codes have change again just recently in 2020. They now offer even more incentives to build ADUs and help with the severe housing shortages in California. For example, the City of Santa Monica allowed a maximum ADU size of 650 sf. and now with the 2020 state codes  it allows 850 sf. for a one bedroom detached ADU and 1000sf. for a two bedroom detached ADU. 

In addition, any existing garage can be converted into "junior ADU", in which case two ADUs are allowed on one site. In addition,in 2022 the state now allows an R1 zone property to be split into two lots with a duplex on each lot. In this way, the state is further increasing the pressure on the cities to deregulate their ADU codes in an effort to increase housing density, simplify the design approvals, building processes and construction costs, I have developed prototypes for the detached ADUs as shown below.


Scheme A  is a detached ADU that I have designed for the City of Monterey. It is designed to be affordable and energy efficient. The house fits on a minimum forty foot wide lot.The drawings are pre-approved by the City of Monterey planning and building department and are made available to the public at no fee. The drawings are 90% complete, including architectural, engineering, energy and panel shop drawings.

An architect will need to adapt the ADU to your particular site by adding a site plan drawing. The house is designed as a kit house. It is super energy efficient. The shell is built with structurally insulated panels "SIPS". These panel energy efficient due to the an assembly with 10" roof foam insulation and 6" wall foam panels. They are light weight and quickly assembled on site.The heating, cooling, water heating, and cooking are with all electric appliances.Please contact me for more information. 

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