Bjarko|Serra Architects Create a Modern and Green Backyard Cottage

by , 09/20/11

Bjarko|Serra Architects’ modern backyard cottage is a 800 s.f. mini-dwelling created in response to a recent zoning code change in Seattle to create more density. Dubbed the DADU (detached accessory dwelling unit), this backyard cottage has been designed as an addition to a single-family home, but is flexible enough to serve as a small, stand-alone home for austere inhabitants. The 5-star Built Green design focuses on creating an innovative approach to small scale building on an occupied site, where off-site production is the primary mode used to decrease site impact. The dwelling also features a low site-impact foundation system of pin piles supporting a raised floor system; the main building shell and roof are composed of pre-fabricated high R-Value SIPS wall panels; rainwater harvesting is used for garden irrigation and storm water management; roof mounted solar systems provide electricity generation and hot water; low- or no-VOC finishes are used throughout; and recycled and sustainable materials are used when possible.

+ Bjarko|Serra Architects

The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

Related Posts


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Kate Davis February 7, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Bjarko Architects are definitely among the best in business in Washington. I really like their conception of design, their buildings are very fresh and have a very clean style.
    The thing I like most is that their buildings never seem intrusive, they fit perfectly in harmony with the nature and the ambience that surround them. I work with a design brand that reads and tries to reinterpret nature to create new pieces and this is one of the most important things, respect it.
    Kate Davis @

  2. lazyreader September 21, 2011 at 9:09 am

    In the U.S., garage apartments are frequently found in older urban areas. Before garages were not attached to homes they existed separate in the back and an alley would allow vehicles to enter the street. While the idea seems interesting for young and start up couples, I wouldn’t build this in my backyard. The building looks more like the encapsulation of a zoo. Here I can watch species dwell. There are dozens of garage apartment plans available to residents; best of all they appear normal and can cater to the architectural designs of the house built there. Assuming it’s legal in the town your in.

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home