Students in the studio designed a net positive accessory dwelling unit (ADU) prototype for central Houston. The semester served as the principal research and design phase for the project, a three-semester initiative to demonstrate how accessory dwellings can mutually address housing affordability and energy decarbonization with a realized ADU prototype. The project is a partnership between Construct and the Center for Energy & Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS), and was awarded funding by Rice’s Energy and Environment Initiative.

The investigation contributes to a growing national dialogue on accessory dwellings. That discussion has emphasized the ability of ADUs to provide much needed affordable housing. While committed to affordability, AUXILIARY considers the ADU from an energy perspective. With the requirement for zero net energy (ZNE) buildings a foregone conclusion, the ADU is uniquely positioned to aid in that transition. An efficient ADU coupled with solar power generation and battery storage can be a net positive—to existing homes and neighborhoods, to Houston and beyond.    

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