Photos of the Week - Is the SCADpad the Future of Urban Living?

by Jessica Mulholland / April 15, 2014

On April 9, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) unveiled a "unique micro-house and adaptive reuse experiment" -- it has transformed the parking structure of its midtown Atlanta location into a sustainable community, according to a press release. And today, April 15, 12 SCAD students will move into these the three tiny homes in the parking structure.

Not unlike the Tumbleweed Tiny House Co. based in Sonoma, Calif., that mounted its first tiny home to a trailer in 1999, the college's SCADpad turns a parking space into a living environment. More specifically, these SCADpads -- that are 135 square feet each -- 

Tumbleweed's tiny homes range from 65-square-feet to 887-square-feet, and also fit in one parking space. 

What both of these models (and Four Lights Houses based in Cotati, Calif.) have in common is that they propose an answer to the world's growing urban housing challenges, which are:

  • According to World Population to 2300, a report by the UN, the world population is expected to rise to 5 billion over the next 20 years; and
  • According to U.S. Census data, 81 percent of the U.S. population resides in urban areas, which is a 6 percent increase over the last 25 years. 

SCADpad community garden

The SCADpad was designed and developed by team of 75 current SCAD students, 37 alumni and 12 professors from 12 academic degree programs. 

Each SCADpad was inspired by three continents -- Asia, Europe and North America -- and was designed with that contient's culture and spirit in mind. 

"The development of SCADpad was more than a classroom learning experience for our students," said Paula Wallance, president and co-founder of SCAD, in the press release. "SCADpad is a testament to the power of innovation, intellectual prowess, research and collaboration."

The SCADpad also has a community garden, pictured at left, that is watered with filtered greywater from the units and fed by a daylight harvesting system installed in the ceiling above.

All photographs by Chia Chong, courtesy of SCAD