This year’s show house at West Coast Green addresses the changing needs of modern-day family life in a compromised economy. Designed as a backyard cottage, the ‘Inspired In-Law’ modular, factory-built, one-bedroom unit supports senior independence, while encouraging multiple generations to live comfortably together. Larson + Shores Architects, Inc. designed the modular home and Eco Offsite built and funded the project, which minimizes energy costs with natural day lighting and high-efficiency windows, appliances and insulation. The home can be ordered pre-assembled or as a set of construction drawings that can be assembled by a contractor or even the inhabitants themselves. Read on for an exclusive look inside!
The ‘Inspired In Law’ concept, also known as ASAP, ‘architectural solutions for the aging population’, focuses on avoiding costs of assisted living, while increasing safety with sustainable, accessible, and adaptable living spaces. We were amused by the gorgeous waterfront Fort Mason views out each window, and inspired by the affordable, sustainable, off-the-shelf materials utilized throughout.
Some of our favorites include recycled glass tiles from Hakatai, which are composed of waste glass sourced from approximately 90% post-consumer bottles and 10% pre-consumer material. The steel and enamel Kaldewei shower pan was also an affordable, resilient option, avoiding the use of vinyl or fiberglass. Panaria Ceramica tiles from TheTileShop contain 40% recycled content and meet the ISO 14001 environmental declarations, and we loved the muted grey and beige GreenGuard certified cork flooring by Wicanders.
The Smart LED lights by Cree Lighting use just 10.5 watts and are listed as the highest luminaire efficiency of any Energy Star residential lighting product. Cabinetry by Studio Marler provided a low-VOC, recycled content wood option from managed forests with no added urea-formaldehyde. It’s worth noting that all the of structural wood members of the prefab home were FSC certified. Last but not least, the bonus of added Water Hogs garnered a lot of attention as people saw firsthand how reclaimed water from the tiny structure’s roof could nourish plants without ANY municipal water.
In keeping with the ‘off the shelf’ design approach, a variety of in-law cottage floor plans can be perused at www.houseplans.com. Once a specific floor plan is chosen, a variety of rooflines, exterior siding options, and interior finishes can be customized to suit the occupant’s lifestyle. Modular Inspired In-Law units vary in price by location, but typically range from $50,000 to $80,000, depending on model and features selected. For more information about the Inspired In Law cottages, you can contact architect Carrie Shores.