Seattle to Become Testbed for Green Prefab Apartments?

Inhabit Finished

Last October we blogged about the Inhabit prefab prototype built in Washington and designed by Mithun and Hybrid.  Since then, there hasn’t been much news about the prototype, except that the initial two units are for sale right now.  Now comes news, however, based on an article in The Seattle Times, that Unico Properties is planning to bring Inhabit to market in a legit, 62-unit apartment complex that includes a few live/work spaces.  The development is planned for a site on Dexter Avenue North above Lake Union.  Unico has been quiet about the project because the land is still under contract and the permitting process has just begun.  But long and short, Seattle is on the cusp of becoming a major demonstration city for green, prefab apartments in the U.S. — fantastic news for proponents of healthy, affordable, and stylish living spaces. 

In some ways, the genesis of Inhabit is the phenomenon of sprawl.  In many cities, including Seattle, professionals work in the CBD/downtown area, but don’t live there because housing either doesn’t exist or is too expensive.  As a result, corporate employees end up buying/renting places located far away from work and spend way too much time driving back and forth between home and work.  If Unico has its way, however, they’ll be able to change some of this. 

Unico wants to develop and provide more affordable living spaces that are both stylish and green to suit a need in the market.  The standardized, modular design would slash A&E fees and could be built quickly.  Unico estimates that their project could be built for roughly 15% less than a conventional project. 

In addition to prioritizing cost, Inhabit apartments were designed to be environmentally friendly, with features and amenities such as floor-to-ceiling windows, a green roof to reduce stormwater runoff, low-VOC paints, dual-flush toilets, and energy efficient appliances.  And Unico wants to seek LEED certification for all its Inhabit communities, too. 

The particular units at Dexter will be small.  Project plans, as reported by The Seattle Times, show arrangements of 675 and 480 sf, but details are still forthcoming.  We’ll keep an eye out for more info and renderings, if/when they become available. 

Read More: Unico Properties


Article tags: ,

Popular Topics on Jetson Green