A 135-square foot, eco-friendly micro house that's designed to fit into a single parking space: is this the future of urban housing?
Dubbed the SCADPad, the 16 X 8 foot dwelling designed for a single occupant fitted with a bed, kitchenette and bathroom, is the brainchild of students and faculty at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
SCADpad evolved from a project to find a solution to the growing need for "suitable, sustainable and efficient" housing in large urban centers. But, why a parking garage of all places?
"Research showed that in the United States there is an abundance of parking garages - five parking spaces for every car on the road, so we decided to tackle that as a problem," Paula Wallace, president at SCAD told CNBC on a recent visit to Singapore.
The adaptive reuse of old buildings is environmentally-friendly, Wallace added.
"While Parking garages are particularly unattractive, they are very strong – so tearing such a building down has environmental consequences potentially for 80 years. The greenest thing you can do is use existing buildings for a new purpose," she said.
The target group for such housing is millennials looking to live on their own, in walking distance of the city-center. SCAD research found people in their 20s would sacrifice space for privacy and prefer not to spend time commuting in a car.
SCAD designers put their creation to the test this summer, building three prototype dwellings in a parking garage in their Atlanta campus and inviting students, faculty and journalists to live in them for a couple of days or weeks.
The three SCADPads had several amenities including a composting and recycling center, an organic garden watered with filtered graywater and 3D printing work station allowing residents customize their unit to their preferences and needs.