ELAC Architecture Professor Featured in LA Times for Unique Housing SolutionPosted: Mar/30/2021 2:46 PM
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March 30, 2021
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EAST LOS ANGELES, CA – East Los Angeles College (ELAC) Architecture Alexis Navarro Professor was featured in a recent LA Times article for his personal solution to a housing issue at his home in East Los Angeles. His idea to design and build an Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) on his property for less than $100,000 is proof that affordable housing can be possible.
Navarro, a native and now landlord of the East Los Angeles area saw how inadequate the design of his property was for his tenants with some bedrooms being too small for even a bed to fit.
“‘How can I design and build something that is low-cost and attractive for people who can’t afford quality living spaces?’ That’s what prompted me to build an ADU,” said Navarro to the LA Times.
He transformed what was a car port on his property into a 536 square foot ADU that includes a living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom all for under $100,000. Navarro worked as his own general contractor and completed the project in just five months. Even with the loss of the carport, each of his 4 tenants has their own parking spot.
His design was inspired by Midcentury Modern post-and-beam architecture with tall cathedral ceiling. It features low-maintenance raw concrete floors that absorb heat, three operable skylights that can be opened to release hot air, and north-facing glazed clerestory windows to help keep the house cool. All energy-efficient solutions but can be easily replicated.
“I wanted to build a system that anyone who knows how to build can do,” Navarro says. “This is everyday construction.”
Navarro and his ability to combine high end design with affordable construction costs are just one of the many ways residents of Los Angeles have used the city’s new ADU / Standard Plan Program — an initiative that offers homeowners and builders access to a variety of preapproved ADU building plans and designs to allow for faster and less expensive permitting.
Alexis is currently a professor for Architecture at ELAC and will become Chair of the Department upon D. Michael Hamner, FAIA, retirement this summer of 2021. ELAC is the only college in the Los Angeles Community College District with their own Architecture department and they were one of the original departments when ELAC opened their doors in 1945. Many of their students have received scholarships and/or transferred to universities such as USC, Woodbury University, UCLA, Syracuse, SCI-Arc, Auburn, Virginia Tech, and more. To learn more about ELAC Architecture please visit their website at https://www.elarchitecture.org/.
ELAC is in its 75th year as an academic institution and continues to serve the Los Angeles area with education needs. This academic year is a celebration of our past and an excitement for our future. To learn more about some of the key alumni in our 75 years of history please click here.