Photo: William P. Wright

Community-oriented low energy living that layers public and private space

Yobi Microhousing is a 13,689-sf structure four-story, wood-frame building with 40 sleeping units built over a partially-below-grade basement. The ground floor of the features a generous commons with a lounge, community kitchen, laundry area and media room.

Wood framing helped affordably support a number of sustainability features. The building is certified Built Green 4 Star, which means that it has met high-performance criteria over a broad range of categories, including energy use.

Project Details

Conventional wood-frame construction with dimension lumber shear walls combined with high insulation levels and sealed openings helped create a high-performance exterior envelope, resulting in energy use that is 40% lower than current energy code requirements. An efficient space layout and conventional wood-frame construction methods enabled this to become an affordable multi-family model of urban, low-impact living.

Central to the premise of the Yobi is the use of shared common space that contributes to the efficient footprint of the building. The common space on the first floor is a living room at the building scale, the kitchen provided on all other levels acts as a “pajama commons,” where immediate neighbors can casually interact. This layering of public and private space fulfills the need for a sense of community, as well as solitude when desired.

Yobi Microhousing Case Study