Prefab Micro-Cottage at West Coast Green

Reinventing the Granny Unit

Big news! We’re launching a modern, modular, sustainable, factory-built, one-bedroom backyard cottage that supports senior independence and makes it possible for multiple generations to live together comfortably.

It’s called the Inspired In-Law™ Cottage and was the brainchild of and designed by Larson Shores Architects, who are aging-in-place specialists certified in green design. The prototype was constructed by Eco Offsite (modular builders), with the help of Modular Source (construction management and sourcing) and debuted at West Coast Green (conference and expo on innovation in green building and product design) in San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center.

Here’s the layout — Plan 507-1 which is comprised of three modules containing living area/kitchenette; bathroom/hallway; and bedroom.

There’s a small sheltered entry deck at the front.

I saw the cottage under construction at the factory yesterday — the three modules are all framed in.

This one will be the living area and kitchenette.

The section with the porch overhang is the hallway and bathroom. Eco Offsite owner Kathleen Lipton (shown here) and her team have been doing an amazing job in a very short time. And here’s the bedroom module.

The interior view below shows what the bedroom will look like.

When completed the modules will be trucked to San Francisco in the wee hours of the morning and assembled on site.

The Inspired In-Law Cottage is basically a green strategy for multi-generational living. What could be more eco-friendly than making it possible for seniors to live independently while staying connected to family and community. Green features include: energy-efficient reflective roof coatings; cork flooring, FSC-certified structural lumber; high efficiency plumbing fixtures; recycled glass tile;  energy-efficient windows; and Zero-VOC paint. Accessibility features include zero-step entrances; day lighting; wide hallway; curb-less shower; roll-under sink; pull-out and pull-down storage; and a handrail that doubles as a picture rail and therefore does not look like an age-in-place feature.

It’s a timely alternative to institutional solutions now that communities like Seattle and Denver have recently passed ordinances allowing  so-called accessory dwelling units in many areas. The prototype at West Coast Green, called the Bungalow plan,  is one of four layouts that will ultimately be offered. Here are the other three. The range of plans allows for a variety of needs and lot conditions.

The horizontal bar-shaped Cabin plan could form one edge of a rear yard; the generous deck adds a feeling of spaciousness.

The Carriage plan provides a generous living/dining space.

The Courtyard plan opens to the garden on two sides for maximum outdoor living space.

Stay tuned for photographs of the completed unit, furnished by Room & Board.


3 responses to “Prefab Micro-Cottage at West Coast Green

  1. This is nice. I’d like to live here! I see plenty of opportunities here: guest home, short-term rentals / long-term lodging, ultimate mancave, etc.

  2. Great Idea! It offers a great benefit to the elderly community. Their own space within close proximity of family or friends. Looking into it for my parents!

  3. The idea of building a cottage for elderly is a a great thing to materialize. It can benefit the families within the community for it will build a tight relationship. It is a great news. I love it. Looking forward to build one for my grandparents.

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