5 Houses and 5 ADUs

More Housing for San Diego

February 16, 2021

Aerial renders showing the site, then highlights showing the main houses, then highlights showing the ADUs.

THA has just completed designs for a parcel of land divided into 5 lots, with each lot containing 1 main house and 1 ADU.  The design is currently being reviewed by the city of Escondido for approval.

ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) have become a popular trend in addressing California’s housing crisis and TannerHecht has been eager and ready to help Californians get more housing and developers add more value to their properties.

These ADUs in Escondido are a mixture of attached and detached units. The attached ADU is roughly 715 sqft while the detached ADU is about 840 sqft, just under the maximum allowed squarefootage of 850 square feet.  The main houses are all the same basic floor plans, using ADU configuration, garage configuration and color to create variety rather than monotony.  Each main house is 2-stories and roughly 2,000 sqft.

The attached ADUs are found on the 3 eastern-most lots and are located above the garage for the main house.  These attached ADUs include their own private entrance and have only a few feet of a shared wall with the main house.  Each unit is a 2-bed/1-bath with a full kitchen, living room and in-unit laundry.

The detached ADUs are found on the 2 western-most lots and are located behind the main house.  These ADUs feature a 2-bed/2-bath configuration with an integrated kitchen-living room space separating the bedrooms so that each bedroom and bathroom can be treated as its own suite.  These ADUs offer more privacy between the tenants sharing the unit.

Street view showing the first house when approaching the cul-de-sac.

At street level, the houses and the ADUs appear to be a single unit and don’t exhibit an increase in unit density.  The neighborhood still maintains a low-density feel while effectively doubling the density.

Hillside Cottages

A Prefab Modular Project

October 5, 2020

Construction sequence at the Hillside Cottages showing site work then module placement.

Just about every project that comes through the THA office gets asked the question: prefabricated modular?? With the Hillside Cottages, the prefab question was asked, strangly, well after the design was conceived. To our luck, a conversation with a local developer led us to the belief that our best attempt at a standardized and economic design system actually fit within the parameters of a fully-prefab modular project. Our modular design scheme could actually be built as prefabricated modules.

A critical aspect of the prefab modular building process is designing units that can be safely, easily and legally transported from the fabrication plant to the construction site. A Southern California prefab construction outfit offers a rule-of-thumb set of instructions that clearly states the required maximum dimensions per module. With the Hillside Cottages, a large number of design decisions adhering to site conditions, economic value and functional requirements happened to yield a typical unit design that, with little to no modification, could be broken down into the required maximum dimensions for shipping prefab units.

The construction process would become simple:

1. Demolish the existing non-historic structure and relocate trees

2. Scrape the site

3. Construct the concrete podium

4. Swing modules into place with a crane fixed to the elevator shaft

5. Complete finish work and landscape site

After a fortunate turn in concept, the Hillside Cottages actually becomes as modular as it appears to be without compromising the quaint atmosphere of a cascading village that follows the land.