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December 15, 2017
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Shipping-Container Homeless Housing is Coming to Los Angeles

10/02/17

KTGY Architecture + Planning has unveiled designs for Hope on Alvarado, a new building that will be the first of a series of housing developments in highly walkable communities, providing support services for individuals transitioning from homelessness. The building, west of downtown at 166 S. Alvarado St, in the city’s Westlake District, is moving quickly through the development process and is slated to begin a six-month construction period in the first part of 2018. The accelerated construction is due to a unique design incorporating shipping containers as a primary building material.

Aedis Real Estate Group is the developer of the building. It is the first of a series of Hope developments in Los Angeles to be built within the next year using the shipping-container design. The plan is to continue this forward-thinking, cost-effective model for affordable housing in dense, urban areas from San Diego to Seattle.

“One major advantage of using shipping containers is the dramatic reduction in construction time. While sitework and foundations are being constructed on site, the containers are being manufactured off site, including most interior finishes and fittings,” said Mark Oberholzer AIA, LEED AP, Associate Principal with KTGY Architecture + Planning.

“We’re not trying to hide the fact that these are shipping containers,” added Keith Labus AIA, LEED AP, Principal of KTGY Architecture + Planning. “There would be great costs associated with creating the level of character they already have. Our approach is to work with what we have and develop something unique at each location.”

KTGY’s design is centered on a central courtyard, providing privacy and encouraging safety and a sense of community. Floor-to-ceiling glazing distinguishes the support-services office space on the street-level. The development is designed to LEED standards but is not seeking certification. The speed of construction and efficient use of building materials is among the project’s sustainable attributes.

The four-story Hope on Alvarado will offer 84 units of studios and one-bedroom apartments on a .44-acre site. Unit plan sizes are 400-480 square feet. Located within the building, parking spaces will be provided for social services staff and each resident will have a bike-storage space.

The Hope Homeless Housing developments are financed by LSA Capital in partnership with Project Sponsor Jerry Jacobs with Scott Baldridge and Leslie Weiss, working with the Foundation for Affordable Housing. The shipping containers converted into prefabricated dwelling units are sourced locally in Los Angeles.

Each of the residential apartments is created using several containers, which are modified by removing the doors and portions of the exterior metal skin and adding floor-to-ceiling windows and interior fixtures and finishes. The containers are transported by truck to the site and a crane is used to fit and stack them together into a single building. Appliances are furnished on site.





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