There are many things to love about the slow-paced, old fashioned South, but zoning laws are not one of them. Raleigh, North Carolina is overflowing with recent graduates and young professionals that cannot afford homes that are required to be a certain minimum size. Thankfully, North Carolina designers David Hill and In Situ Studio are working on a proposal to create tiny prefab homes in the alleyways of the historic city. The beautifully designed eco-home zone called "RA-50" or "Alley Residential" is not only flexible and affordable for inhabitants, but also offers a price break for land owners and reduces the city's carbon footprint.
In Situ sees the “RA-50” residential zone as a safe and affordable haven “for the creative entrepreneur, the intern who bikes to work, the retired teacher who rides the bus, the laid-off, middle-aged manager, the disabled veteran relying on social infrastructure, the single mom of one who needs to get back on her feet after a divorce.” The large lot alleys would be subdivided into single- and double-occupancy studios with 100-square-foot kit pieces owners can choose to add. Pieces include essentials like a bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen, as well as other attachable features like a stoop, a patio, and a media den.
The small homes are delivered on a flatbed truck and assembled onsite. Creative eco-design including solar panels and passive heating and cooling keep the price and maintenance fees to a minimum while creating a greener environment for the busy city. In Situ also notes that the houses would not only generate new income with minimal investment, but would also encourage Raleigh to become a more pedestrian friendly city.