Small is the new green

Increasing environmental awareness along with economic and demographic trends favor smaller house sizes. Many cities are doing their part by updating zoning codes to allow cottage housing and small backyard cottages (detached ADU's) on residentially zoned lots. Seattle and Portland are two cities which allow backyard cottages up to 800 sq. ft. in size. These small houses provide opportunities for families, while increasing housing stock density and diversity. Continue reading for more information about small house design and Seattle's backyard cottage ordinance or contact us to find out if your lot is eligible for a backyard cottage.

Tuesday, July 9

tiny home seeks a home



A tiny home demonstration project by students at Emily Carr University of Art and Design underscores the challenges of providing shelter for at risk groups and the homeless.  

To read more about this unique project. vancouver sun article 




Our own experience working with a Vancouver land owner to come up with provide services for at risk youth has run into some similar challenges.


Located on the outskirts of Vancouver the zoning of this site allows for a multi-story high rise development.  However, the local rental market cannot support the cost of development. Microhouse and the land owner have teamed up to for this innovative affordable housing solution.  The 30 units will house at risk youth and social workers. The units are based around a series of overlapping courtyards that will facilitate small group interactions and provide support for the residents.

The local municipality views our proposal as an under utilization of the site and has proposed utility hookup costs of $450,000 equivalent to that for 30 apartment buildings. Effectively keeping the project in limbo for now.
The owner plans to start a demonstration project by building the first unit, as a backyard cottage. Thank you to Studio 216 for the beautiful rendering.