Potentials and Challenges Associated with Accessory Dwelling Units and Small Smart Homes in Modular Construction


Dillon Mackenstadt

Faculty Mentor(s)

Hongtao Dang (Engineering Technologies, Safety & Construction)


Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Small Smart Homes (SSHs) have become more and more popular in recent years. ADUs are independent living spaces built on the same land as an existing residence, or added to an existing residence. SSHs are small residences, typically designed for one or two people, that incorporate technologically advanced devices into the function of the home. As more people have the desire to live independently or downsize the space they need, quickly delivering ADUs and SSHs using modular construction has become critically important. This paper investigates the potentials and challenges of ADUs and SSHs through semi-structured interviews with companies that are leading the innovation in the modular construction industry. Research participants are individuals who are involved with the construction and delivery of ADUs and SSHs. The results revealed some potentials including the use of these spaces for affordable housing, generating additional income through rent, being able to live close to family while still being independent, and having a space that is just big enough for the occupant’s needs. Both ADUs and SSHs increase housing affordability, mobility, intelligence, and resilience. The results also uncovered some challenges such as city zoning requirements, building permits, delivery difficulties, and legal issues.

Keywords: Accessory Dwelling Units, Small Smart Homes, Modular Construction


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