Open House - Accessory Dwelling Unit



East Branch Studio / Kent Hicks Construction (634 Main Rd., West Chesterfield, MA 01084)

In January of 2020, a collaborative effort between UMass Amherst Building & Construction Technology, UMass Amherst Architecture, Five College Architectural Studies and East Branch Studio took root to design and build a net-zero energy micro-house. Teaming up with UMass faculty and East Branch Studio staff, eight students embarked on a journey to create an innovative, affordable home that could respond to the changing needs of its inhabitants over time. Postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new group of eleven students have broken ground – so to speak – building the transportable home their peers designed.

This small, smart home – deemed the HyggeHaus – will make its grand debut at Signature Sound’s Green River Festival this summer as part of their *Go Greener* initiative, with the front porch serving as the stage for musical acts. After the festival, it will be delivered to OneHolyoke CDC to assist in their effort to provide affordable housing to the local community. The role of the HyggeHaus will shift again from concept to teaching tool to stage to home.

The HyggeHaus is a modest and efficient studio-style dwelling unit. It is net-zero and employs recycled and low-carbon materials throughout. It also features an innovative pre-fab construction system that will allow it to be repeatedly shipped, assembled, and disassembled rather than demolished. Partnering with OneHolyoke CDC has expanded the design to include an additional bedroom unit that will attach onto the existing home. With green building methods in mind, options to panelize the construction of the additional unit using straw bale or hempcrete are currently being explored.