A Portable House That Fits in a Parking Space

SCADpadA group of over 80 students, educators, and alumni at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia have created portable homes that can fit into parking spaces.

The team built SCADpads that measure eight feet wide and 16 feet long and placed them in parking spaces in the college’s midtown Atlanta parking garage. The SCADpads are large enough to accommodate a bed, sitting area, bathroom with toilet and sink, and a small kitchen with appliances, such as a refrigerator and freezer, hidden inside its cabinet drawers. They placed the portable homes in eight parking spaces on the garage’s fourth floor in an area with views of the city’s skyline.

The SCADpads are controlled by a tablet. The units do not have light switches, and the power can be turned off by blowing on a “digital candle,” a glowing triangle near the entrance. The walls can be changed to incorporate 3D-printed designs, and some walls make noises when touched. The windows can be frosted over for privacy by pressing a button, and the bathroom mirrors can remind residents to wash their hands. A daylight harvesting system captures daylight and channels it to the garden using fiber optic cables.

Each SCADpad occupies two parking spaces. One space is taken up by the unit, and the other contains an outdoor garden. Other spaces include a community garden and a workbench with a 3D printer. The printer can create anything that a SCADpad resident might need, such as dishes, wallpaper, and furniture. Instead of using a keyboard or mouse, residents design items they need by using their hands in front of an interactive camera to manipulate a computer screen.

The SCADpads are designed to represent the college’s campuses. SCADpad North America represents its Savannah campus; SCADpad Europe represents its Lacoste, France, campus; and SCADpad Asia represents its Hong Kong campus.

Students are living in the units now, and the college is considering the scalability of the project. The cost to rent a SCADpad would be significantly lower than the rental prices for other homes in the city. The units could also be transported to another location and set up in a different parking garage.