Category I Assembling Housing

The 2007-2008 Steel Design Student Competition is socially oriented to challenge students to design multi-family housing in an urban context. 

The need for alternative housing types is on the rise. Populations are moving back to the city, realizing the cost of living, required commuting, and the range of quality-of-life options afforded by living near the urban core. Not only for those who have a choice to live in denser environments, but also for low-income populations, housing must be affordable. Today’s housing problems are difficult, but architects are in a unique place to envision innovative solutions to the housing crisis that affects so many. 

Steel is an ideal material for multi-story housing because it offers the greatest strength to weight ratio and can be designed systematically as a kit of parts or prefabricated to allow for quicker construction times and less labor, thus reducing the cost of construction. Housing built with steel is potentially more flexible and adaptable to allow for diversity of family structures and changing family needs over time. 

Mixed-use multifamily housing should respect the ethnically and economically diverse urban fabric. The program is to design a new steel construction and must meet a minimum of eight levels in height. The design must consider life cycle of the building, mixed income units, residential support spaces and mixed-use spaces. 

The functional and programmatic requirements for the residential space outlined below must be met at a minimum. The area allocations, however, are suggestions only and may be altered. Solutions should observe the total gross square footage, within a range of plus or minus ten percent. 


Residential Units 

3 bedroom units (10 @ 1500 sq. ft. each) 15,000 square feet 
2 bedroom units (15 @ 1000 sq. ft. each) 15,000 square feet 
1 bedroom units (15 @ 600 sq. ft. each) 9,000 square feet 
Live/Work units (10 @ 1500 sq. ft. each) 15,000 square feet 

Additional Residential Support Spaces 

Lobby 1,500 square feet 
Office 500 square feet 
Exercise Room 1,000 square feet 
Mail Room 300 square feet 
Loading Dock/Waste 700 square feet 
Total Square Feet for Residence 58,000 square feet 

The mixed-use function space should be built on the demands of the city and site selected. Below is a list of possible mixed-used functions with space allocations. Students and/or faculty sponsors can choose from the list below or determine from the demands of the chosen site. 

Large Retail (1 @ 20,000 sq. ft.) 20,000 square feet 
Small Retail (10 @ 1500 sq. ft. each) 15,000 square feet 
Restaurant (2 @ 5000 sq. ft. each) 10,000 square feet 
Office Units (4 @ 1500 sq. ft. each) 6,000 square feet 
Recreation (1 @ 5000 sq. ft.) 5,000 square feet 
Total Square Feet for Mixed-use 56,000 square feet 

Total Gross Square Feet 114,000 square feet 

Total Net Square Feet Plus 10% Allowance 

For mechanical areas, circulation, structure, etc. 125,400 square feet 

The site for the competition is the choice of the student and/pr faculty sponsor. The requirements however is the site be in a dense urban context, close to public transportation and city amenities. Submissions will be required to explain graphically or otherwise the site selection and strategy. 

Refer to the International Building Code and the local zoning ordinance for information on parking requirements, height restrictions, set backs, easements, flood, egress, and fire containment. 

The design project must be conceived in structural steel construction. A strategy should be considered that evaluates a method for reducing overall construction cost for the affordable housing project in steel using innovative methods of structure, fabrication, and construction.