Residential technology firm URBANEER and its new partner Champion Homes have teamed with Arlington, Va.-based Backyard Cottages to bring the Capitol Area ADUs to backyards throughout the district and surrounding areas.
Accessory dwelling units, Or ADUs, gained approval for Arlington County in May. ADUs are small, flexible, independent residences that can be placed in residential backyards. ADUs often are used as:
- A manageable and nearby home for an aging relative
- A guesthouse
- Or as an investment opportunity that fills a middle-market housing need in high-cost metro areas
Smart Homes in Capitol Area Backyards
Pierce Tracy is the CEO of Backyard Cottages. He said the company in the spring will provide D.C. area homeowners and homebuyers the opportunity for technology-rich small homes. The effort will begin with the URBANEER 510 by Genesis, a 510-square-foot ADU. The home also will be on display at the International Builder’s Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 21-23.
Backyard Cottages is a subsidiary of Classic Cottages LLC, one of Northern Virginia’s premier single-family custom home builders.
“There is an immediate need for new, affordable housing stock in the D.C. area, and we see this detached ADU sector as a large, new opportunity to help serve that need in this region for years to come,” Tracy said. “The URBANEER 510 model will be unlike other ADU options on the market. Our ability to showcase one of the first units built in the country next spring will provide an opportunity for our local residents to see the innovation and quality of these units first-hand.”
URBANEER is based in Grand Rapids, Mich. The company is operated by current and former technology industry professionals. The goal is to infuse a new type of residential option with modern amenities at an affordable price.
“URBANEER and Champion Home Builders have defined Living 2.0 – smarter, compact, affordable living solutions that will relieve the pressure on housing in and near city centers,” said URBANEER lead investor Raul Fernandez, vice chairman and owner of Monumental Sports and Entertainment. “URBANEER’s technology and design transform 500 square feet into 800 square feet of smart living for consumers. URBANEER, Skyline Champion, and BackyardCottages are changing the way we live, work, and play.”
How Do Capitol Area ADUs Work?
The ADU’s flexibility provides value to the homeowner as a family’s needs change over time. The Genesis brand, from URBANEER and Champion Homes, features moveable walls with wireless technology, fold-down beds, energy-efficiency features and other space- and cost-saving smart designs.
ADUs placed in Arlington County backyards will have to meet a variety of standards, including having:
- A separate entrance
- Its own kitchen and bathroom
- No more than three residents
- No more than 750 square feet in floor space
- A successful fire-safety regulation inspection
“We look forward to bringing our offsite construction method to this space and we are extremely excited to be working with these two exceptional partners,” said Wade Lyall, executive vice president of business development for Skyline Champion Corporation.
URBANEER has patents on its movable wall with wireless power and reconfigurability of space. An URBANEER space incorporates technology to support wellness, security, and connectivity for the occupant. Its homes incorporate these elements into the architecture specifications, which are then shared with Champion for manufacturing and sale to builders and developers as part of its Genesis brand.
“Champion Home Builders is the perfect partner to help URBANEER realize its vision to offer all types of consumers a line of compact, configurable and connected homes,” Bruce Thompson, URBANEER co-founder and CEO said. “We have been working on our fully integrated compact designs for over six years with engineers, architects, industrial designers, manufacturers, and environmental psychologists and are thrilled to see them beginning to be offered in Virginia.”