Precedent Study: SCADpad

A team of 75 students, both undergraduate and graduate, from 12 disciplines, worked with 12 professors together during summer sessions and the fall semester to research, design, and build three prototype SCADpad micro apartments. Each unit is 153 square feet (9’ x 17’), contains a full bathroom, kitchen and flexible living, working, or sleeping space as well as an outdoor living space. Motivation behind this project came from two sources: observation of underutilized parking structures and increased number of millennials moving to cities.

SCADpad successfully proved the possibility of designing and building an apartment in the footprint of a standard parking space. The use of a standard parking space as a module allows the design to be transferable any flat deck parking structure in the world.

The limitation of the experiment was the target resident and resulting cost. SCADpads were design for and by millennials, but the need for low cost housing in urban centers is equal if not greater than the need for additional millennial housing. Instead of designing three different aesthetic styles for three different continents – North America, Europe, and Asia – the team’s resources may have been better spent developing three different models based on price. Another exclusive design feature of the SCADpad is the two-step entry. Although the plausibility of designing a fully wheel-chair accessible micro-apartment is low, the presence of steps creates a challenge for some elderly residents and any resident with some form of mobility impairment.

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