Nico Marques/Photekt

Nico Marques/Photekt

Backyard BI(H)OME

Date:  Fall 2014 – Spring 2015
Architect:  Kevin Daly Architects
Engineer:  Ben Varela

AUD Student Team:  Andrew Akins, Garth Britzman, Dee Chang, Katie Chuh, Ciro Dimson, Adrien Forney, Kara Moore, Dami Olufoweshe, Lyo Liu, Trenman Yau, Sarah Sibohan Johnson, Mark Lagola

Introducing the
Backyard Bi(h)OME

Envisioned as a potential solution to Los Angeles’ housing shortage, the Backyard BI(h)OME is a lightweight flexible accessory dwelling unit designed to occupy the existing footprint of a typical backyard.  In just under 500 sq ft this temporary structure features a dual bedroom/living room space, bathroom and micro-kitchen.  Designed to be both low-cost and low-impact, the Backyard BI(h)OME is semi-permanent and readily recyclable—capable of adapting to a family’s shifting needs. 

  Illustration by Kevin Daly Architects

Backyard BI(H)OME
Full-Scale Prototype

To realize the first full-scale prototype of the Backyard BI(h)OME a team of UCLA students worked closely with architect Kevin Daly and engineer Ben Varela (Workpoint Engineering) to design and engineer the an efficient structure.  The final design features a lightweight steel-pipe frame, plywood shear-wall panels and an exterior skin system composed of two translucent layers of ETFE.  An interior matrix of cardboard tubes between the layers of ETFE adds thermal performance, as well as offers variable degrees visual permeability.  Finally, a set of LED lights incorporated in the inner layer of the envelope system efficiently light the interior and the exterior has the potential to be printed with photovoltaics.

As the cityLAB academic fellow, I was involved in the design and fabrication of the Backyard BI(h)OME, as well as had a chance to learn more about the planning and policy implications of the project through my prior involvement in cityLAB’s “Backyard Homes” study.  During the design and construction phases of the full-scale prototype, I was asked to serve as a project manager leading the student team and working closely with architect Kevin Daly and his office.  In addition to overseeing the design, construction and installation of the BI(h)OME, I was also solely responsible for project documentation and coordinating the project’s tight schedule.