Creating ADU designs and speeding up the approval process


HEART will use public input and a competition process to turn ideas into designs and speed up the process so that homeowners can build their ADUs!

Turning ideas into designs

A steering committee of housing, design and environmental professionals will review and prioritize the feedback provided during the public engagement process. The resulting criteria will be used in the development of request for proposals (RFPs) to hire an architectural firm to produce at least four unique ADU designs. It is anticipated that the RFP criteria will address aesthetics (e.g., prioritizing certain architectural styles); size and floor layout (e.g., 1 or 2 bedrooms); amenities and functionality; green technology; etc.

HEART will also host a design competition to develop additional innovative ideas that can be incorporated into the resulting designs.

The design products produced by the project architect(s) will greatly assist homeowners build ADUs. Key deliverables will include: a sample site plan; floor plans; elevations that illustrate designs with different exterior architectural treatment and roof/truss designs; an engineer’s report; a Title 24 report; and list of building materials.

Ultimately, the goal is to create green ADU designs that homeowners will want to build and that people will want to live in. The selected architect(s) will be requested to participate in one to two subsequent public meetings to present their draft designs and receive public feedback.

Speeding up the approval process

Once the designs are complete, HEART will meet with local building and planning officials in order to pre-review the designs. Tailoring designs by making certain modifications (substantive or stylistic) required by the jurisdiction’s building code could reduce construction approval times for project applicants. So in addition to saving prospective ADU owners money, they’d also save time!