Wednesday, March 11, 2009

BASEMENT APARTMENTS IN THE SKY

Tree Hugger - Apartment designs are usually fixed and people have to move a lot. That is why the designs recently approved in Burnaby, BC are so intriguing; they are purported to be the first legalized secondary suites within apartments. Designed to provide housing for students, the blue zone can be "locked off" and rented out separately and has its own entrance. It's kind of like a basement apartment in the sky. . .

Condos and apartments are not very good at adapting to life cycles; one starts out with a small one, moves when they have kids, then has too much space when the kids are gone. (Or you are stuck with them and have no privacy when you want it).

Designs like this would let young people rent out part of their apartment until they need it, getting some extra income to help with the mortgage, and then could use the space with the family comes along. . .

It isn't a new concept; Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett talk about it a lot in their important book Cohousing: A contemporary approach to housing ourselves. They demonstrate how "flexible rooms or "give and take" rooms can be exchanged between the dwelling on either side, which is another twist.