Backyard BIHOME


Developed as a prototype of cityLAB's Backyard Homes study, the Backyard BIHOME is an ultra-modern, lightweight accessory dwelling unit that has the potential to meet the current demand for 100,000 additional housing units in Los Angeles while also providing habitats for diverse species.

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The BIHOME is flexibly designed to meet the needs of almost any household (housing for an elderly parent, a returning college graduate, a rental unit, etc.) while maintaining the benefits of of easy maintenance and affordability. The environmental impact of the structure over its entire life cycle is between ten and a hundred times less than a conventional auxiliary dwelling.

In addition to this, the BIHOME is designed to accommodate multiple species in several ways: at the base of the BIHOME, the rocks in a gabion wall provide habitat; one wall of the BIHOME can be configured as an edible garden; modular units can be added to provide homes for bats, bugs, or birds; and a grey water drainage system can water surrounding vegetation.

Press Coverage

UCLA Newsroom - A Cozy Backyard Home for People and other Friendly Species

KPCC - UCLA Responds to the Housing Crisis: A tiny, pop-up home for the backyard

KCRW - Could Affordable Eco-Housing Be in Your Backyard?

Detail Magazine Online - BI(h)OME

Archinect - Kevin Daly's Backyard BI(h)OME Provides Affordable Housing for Humans and Wildlife

The Architectural Review - Backyard BI(h)OME by a UCLA Studio Taught by Architect Kevin Daly

Dezeen - UCLA Research Lab Unveils Micro Dwelling Unit to Combat Affordable Housing Crisis

Interior Design - 5 Micro Houses Driven by Seriously Big Ideas

Curbed - Can This Tiny House Address the Los Angeles Housing Crisis?"

Treehugger - Students' Lightweight Tiny Home is a Biohabitat for Affordable Housing Crisis

Gizmag - Backyard BI(h)OME Shelter can Provide Affordable Housing in LA Gardens - Solving the Housing Crisis in 500 (Adorable) Square Feet

Mother Nature Network - UCLA Students Design Backyard Abode for Birds (and Bees, Bats, and People, too)

Fiji Times - Tackling Housing Crisis

UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design - UCLA Responds to the Housing Crisis: A Tiny, Pop-up Home for the Backyard

Stad 11 - Ny Arkitektur Förändrar (in Swedish)

Architektura - BI(h)OME czyli tania i ekologiczna jednostka mieszkalna (in Polish)


Winner - Westside Urban Forum Design Merit Award in the category of Plans/Policy.

Finalist - Architizer A+ Awards in the category "Concepts: Architecture +Low Cost Housing."

Project Credits

Concept development and executive producer: cityLAB – UCLA, Dana Cuff, Jonathan Crisman, Carla Salehian, Per-Johan Dahl

Architect: Kevin Daly Architects, Kevin Daly, Peter Nguyen

Structural Engineer: Workpoint Engineering, Ben Varela

Industrial design: Kody Kellogg

Landscape design: Therese Kelly

Biodiversity and habitat: Jon Christensen, UCLA Inst of the Environment and Sustainability; Ursula Heise, English

AUD Student Team: Andrew Akins, Garth Britzman, Dee Chang, Katie Chuh, Ciro Dimson, Adrien Forney, Kara Moore, Dami Olufoweshe, Lyo Liu, Trenman Yau, Sarah Sibohan Johnson, Mark Lagola, Nawid Piracha Project fabricators: Julian Daly and Max Miller

Custom carpentry and woodwork: CA Construction, Carlos Grande

Envelope: Shrink Wrap Pros, Craig Keys

AUD fabrication Manager: Philip Soderlind

UCLA facilities management team: Leroy Sisneros, Coordinator, Erik Ulstrup

Pipe bending team: Blake Rainy, Carlos Rigual

Metal fabrication: Lorenzo Villanueva

Project Type:    prototype
Participants:    Kevin Daly Architects
A.UD students (see credits)
Timeline:    2015
Themes:    postsuburban city