Backyard BI(h)OME

Developed as an extension of cityLAB's Backyard Homes study, the Backyard BI(h)OME is an ultra-modern, lightweight accessory dwelling unit that has the potential to meet the current demand for 100,000 additional housing units in Los Angeles while also serving as a biome by providing habitats for other species, too.

The BI(h)OME is flexibly designed to meet the needs of almost any household (housing for an elderly parent, a returning college graduate, a rental unit, etc.) while maintaining the benefits of of easy maintenance and affordability. The environmental impact of the structure over its entire life cycle is between ten and a hundred times less than a conventional auxiliary dwelling.

In addition to this, the BI(h)OME is designed to accommodate multiple species in several ways: at the base of the BI(h)OME, the rocks in a gabion wall provide habitat; one wall of the BI(h)OME can be configured as an edible garden; modular units can be added to provide homes for bats, bugs, or birds; and a grey water drainage system can water surrounding vegetation.

Project Credits
Concept development and executive producer: cityLAB – UCLA, Dana Cuff, Jonathan Crisman, Carla Salehian, Per-Johan Dahl
Architect: Kevin Daly Architects, Kevin Daly, Peter Nguyen
Structural engineer: Workpoint Engineering, Ben Varela
Industrial design: Kody Kellogg
Landscape design: Therese Kelly
Biodiversity and habitat: Jon Christensen, UCLA Inst of the Environment and Sustainability; Ursula Heise, English
AUD Student Team: Andrew Akins, Garth Britzman, Dee Chang, Katie Chuh, Ciro Dimson, Adrien Forney, Kara Moore, Dami Olufoweshe, Lyo Liu, Trenman Yau, Sarah Sibohan Johnson, Mark Lagola, Nawid Piracha
Project fabricators: Julian Daly and Max Miller
Custom carpentry and woodwork: CA Construction, Carlos Grande
Envelope: Shrink Wrap Pros, Craig Keys
AUD fabrication Manager: Philip Soderlind
UCLA facilities management team: Leroy Sisneros, Coordinator, Erik Ulstrup
Pipe bending team: Blake Rainy, Carlos Rigual
Metal fabrication: Lorenzo Villanueva

Additional Links
• Backyard BI(h)OME website
• Backyard BI(h)OME video

Press Coverage
• UCLA Newsroom - A Cozy Backyard Home for People and other Friendly Species
• KPCC - UCLA Responds to the Housing Crisis: A tiny, pop-up home for the backyard
• KCRW - Could Affordable Eco-Housing Be in Your Backyard?
• Detail Magazine Online - BI(h)OME
• Archinect - Kevin Daly's Backyard BI(h)OME Provides Affordable Housing for Humans and Wildlife
• The Architectural Review - Backyard BI(h)OME by a UCLA Studio Taught by Architect Kevin Daly
• Dezeen - UCLA Research Lab Unveils Micro Dwelling Unit to Combat Affordable Housing Crisis
• Interior Design - 5 Micro Houses Driven by Seriously Big Ideas
• Curbed - Can This Tiny House Address the Los Angeles Housing Crisis?"
• Treehugger - Students' Lightweight Tiny Home is a Biohabitat for Affordable Housing Crisis
• Gizmag - Backyard BI(h)OME Shelter can Provide Affordable Housing in LA Gardens
• - Solving the Housing Crisis in 500 (Adorable) Square Feet
• Mother Nature Network - UCLA Students Design Backyard Abode for Birds (and Bees, Bats, and People, too)
• Fiji Times - Tackling Housing Crisis
• UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design - UCLA Responds to the Housing Crisis: A Tiny, Pop-up Home for the Backyard
• Stad 11 - Ny Arkitektur Förändrar (in Swedish)
• Architektura - BI(h)OME czyli tania i ekologiczna jednostka mieszkalna (in Polish)

• Winner - Westside Urban Forum Design Merit Award in the category of Plans/Policy.
• Finalist - Architizer A+ Awards in the category "Concepts: Architecture +Low Cost Housing."

Photo Credit: Nico Marques/Photekt

Photo Credit: Nico Marques/Photekt

Photo Credit: Nico Marques/Photekt

Photo Credit: Nico Marques/Photekt

Backyard BI(h)OME: Rendered Mockup




Backyard BI(h)OME: Construction at Broad Arts Center