The 2017-2018 Steel Design Student Competition is socially oriented to challenge students to design affordable multi-family housing in an urban context.
The need for affordable housing types is on the rise. Populations are moving back to the city, realizing the cost of living, required commuting, and 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 affordable 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.