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Title: Stack shack: a modular prefabricated alternative to affordable housing
Authors: MacIsaac, Cole
Issue Date: 16-Apr-2021
Abstract: This thesis explores how modular design and prefabricated construction methods can sustainably alleviate the affordable housing crisis in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. In particular, how the efficiencies of these methodologies can be translated into a less expensive dwelling for the owner, taking into consideration the entire lifecycle of the building. The proposal is effectively divided into two parts. The first portion focuses on research, outreach, and partnerships. Part two uses the findings to set the parameters for a holistic design of a dwelling unit that is versatile enough to be successful in a variety of contexts. The area of Dartmouth affectionately known as Between the Bridges is used as a case study for a housing intervention. This somewhat marginalized community of roughly 13,000 is a well established residential neighbourhood that has access to amenities and transit routes, and is ripe for the addition of minimally disruptive hidden density. With an average household income that is half of the rest of Halifax, the thesis proposes that if a model proves to be successful here, it could theoretically be implemented and replicated in other housing markets all over the country. In essence, the site is considered an epicentre instead of a one-off proposal. It is argued that a multi-pronged approach is necessary, and that no single non-profit, institution, or private developer can relieve the stresses that people are feeling in the face of homelessness. For that reason, this proposal sets out to develop a unit that can be implemented through a variety of organizations, in a multitude of contexts and scales, and serves diverse and dynamic demographics. Through strategic partnerships with non-profits, various organizations, social enterprises, and religious institutions, the aim is to secure funding and identify potential personnel who could benefit from the architectural proposal. The thesis process acts as the “front end design” required to develop a successful prefabricated housing unit.
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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