A 42-unit prefab multifamily housing proposal has captured the top prize in a competition aimed at highlighting new lower-cost approaches to affordable housing.
The Bayside Anchor development in Portland, Maine, is designed to Passivhaus (or passive house) ultra-low energy standards and will include a number of energy-efficient measures such as photovoltaic panels and a courtyard for storm water management.
The project’s sponsor, Portland Housing Development Corp. (PHDC), was awarded $250,000 in program-related investment. The organization also received a $25,000 prize to support work that will create a “lifecycle underwriting tool” that will enable developers, policy makers, and financiers to better understand the implications of choices made during the development process.
The judges were impressed by the design innovation and multitude of approaches to lowering costs as well as the project’s potential to be replicated by other affordable housing developers.
The Bayside Anchor team includes Avesta Housing, Wright-Ryan Construction, Kaplan Thompson Architects, Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, and PHDC, an affiliate of Portland Housing Authority.
The Lowering the Cost of Housing Competition is backed by Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., and UPSTATE: A Center for Design, Research, and Real Estate at Syracuse University School of Architecture.
The completion comes at a time when affordable housing development costs have come under increasing scrutiny.
The ACDDC team from Austin, Texas, was the runner-up. It earned a $25,000 prize to help further its research in addressing housing costs through a model of building accessory dwelling units on single-family lots with suitable land capacity.
The team is comprised of the Austin Community Design and Development Center, Ibex Strategies/YardHomes Austin, Chestnut Neighborhood Revitalization Corp., East Austin Conservancy, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at NYU School of Law, University of Texas Center for Sustainable Development, Community Development Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, Next Step Network, and Foundation Communities.