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July 30, 2020

The MicroPAD®: Innovative Housing for the Homeless

“Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design.”

— DIETER RAMS

The MicroPAD: Innovative Housing for the Homeless from Panoramic Interests on Vimeo.

To address the growing problem of homelessness in our cities, Panoramic Interests has developed the MicroPAD (Prefab Affordable Dwelling). The MicroPAD is designed to be installed quickly and economically on large and small sites, in a wide variety of building configurations.

The MicroPAD modules are built in a factory and then stacked like blocks to create multi-story, multi-unit buildings that are indistinguishable from conventional construction. Buildings constructed from MicroPAD modules meet all seismic and safety codes.

Self-contained MicroPAD units are simple and strong, with unibody steel construction, providing protection from flooding, fire, pests, odors, and noise. All units have generous light, excellent ventilation, and include furniture, kitchenettes and bathrooms with showers.

As a geographic region, the San Francisco Bay Area spans nearly 7,000 square miles, and is made up of nine different counties and 101 cities. Because of this, it can be challenging to grasp the full scope of the region’s housing crisis, or to pinpoint one specific location when exploring necessary and urgent solutions.

According to a recent report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, there are roughly 30,000 homeless individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area — the third largest population in the country, behind New York (76,500) and Los Angeles (55,200). But what is even more troubling by comparison is that 67% of those individuals do not have any access to temporary shelter, let alone permanent housing.

Lowney Architecture was proud to partner with Patrick Kennedy, a local developer and owner of Panoramic Interests, to design the prototype for MicroPAD® (“Prefabricated Affordable Dwelling”). MicroPad provides a unique opportunity for developers and municipalities to build high-quality housing quickly and economically.

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The modules are first constructed in a factory, using durable, green building materials, and then shipped to the site where they can be assembled into a multi-story building (up to 12 stories tall) within days. This process allows the quality of construction to be checked in a controlled environment, reduces the construction impact on the surrounding area, and most importantly shortens the project schedule.

Each dwelling comes fully furnished with a private bathroom, kitchenette, armoire, desk, and bed. Made from steel, with 9-foot ceilings, all in 160 square feet. These are more than a place to stay; MicroPAD® units give homeless people a place to live.

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MicroPAD® buildings meet and/or exceed all relevant State of California building codes. They also meet all ADA and FHA accessibility requirements. There are two versions of the MicroPAD® unit, one of which is 100% accessible with a roll-in shower and other special features for accessibility. ADA/FHA typically requires 5% of units are fully accessible, as shown in drawing, but Panoramic can increase that percentage to whatever level a client requires.


TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MICROPAD® OR TO VISIT THE PROTOTYPE IN PERSON,
PLEASE CONTACT PANORAMIC INTERESTS THROUGH THE LINK BELOW!

 

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