08 Nov Design, Density & Housing the Future
This post takes a little excavation. On the surface, it’s just about floor plans. But dig a little deeper, and we’re actually solving some really difficult societal challenges: housing affordability, density and zoning, the aging population, and – in all seriousness – the family unit.
Acre just launched several new floor plans, including a Compact line within our Series A design, as well as a new guest house and live-above garage option.
With these new Compact Series A plans, we are able to fit an additional bedroom – and in some cases a second master suite – into a smaller footprint. We’ve also made the porch extension optional on the Compact plans. So if your lot is tight or your family is large, we have a solution!
Each Compact plan also has the potential for a private sublet unit upstairs. With the addition of two simple doors (see the gif above), the house completely transforms! This means that not only can you make rental income from your property, you can easily convert it over time as your family grows or shrinks. For people looking to co-invest, the house-sharing options are far more flexible than traditional designs. Add NetZero energy performance to the equation, and the benefits quickly pencil-out.
As you may know, all Acre homes are designed with ground floor master suites (complete with 3-foot doorways and no-threshold showers for aging-in-place). This is critical as 73 million baby boomers approach retirement. Our new Compact Series A plans, with an additional master suite upstairs, actually encourage multi-generational living – which has benefits for parents, grandparents and kids. These layouts support a variety of households, and are ideal for live-in caregivers as well, allowing people to stay in their homes longer.
The big-picture is not just flexibility for individuals, but a real dent in the housing shortage – here in Silicon Valley, and in the North Bay where it will take years to recover and rebuild from last month’s horrific fires.
By housing more people in a single-family model, we can increase density without waiting for zoning laws to change. We can help first-time home buyers make financial sense of a new build by easily subletting the parts of their home they don’t need yet. We can enable generations to live together comfortably, and stay in their homes longer. Customers can build a guest house to share with fire victims today, which easily converts to an AirBnB unit or poolhouse in the future. Neighbors can help help neighbors, housing them in an upstairs unit in the short-term while homes are rebuilt.