Published on September 9th, 2008 | by Kristin Dispenza


Prefabricated Apartment Units Offer an Affordable Housing Solution

Unico's 'inhabit' module at Rainier SquareIn August, Seattle’s Queen Anne/Magnolia neighborhood Design Review Board approved a proposal for Seattle’s first prefabricated apartment building. Known as “inhabit”, conceptualized by Unico Properties and designed by architectural firms Mithun and HyBrid Seattle, the structure will be comprised of factory-built, wood-frame modular units.

Two of the prototype models were put on display on the base of Unico’s Rainier Tower last fall. But inhabit’s first permanent installation, at Dexter Avenue North (in West Lake Union), will consist of 62 units that will be manufactured in Idaho, shipped to Seattle, and stacked in groups of 3 and 4 atop a concrete base. The base will also accommodate parking and live-work units. Each prefabricated module will be either a 450 sq. ft. studio apartment, or a 525 sq. ft. one-bedroom unit. It is hoped that the first tenants will move in by May.

Unico’s President and CEO, Dale Sperling, told The Seattle Times that the housing type should help provide 20-somethings with a stylish and sustainable urban living option. Inhabit’s standardized design will help cut architectural and engineering costs, as well as reduce the amount of time and effort spent on permitting and construction. By passing along cost savings to tenants, Unico can offer affordable in-city housing, furthering Seattle’s goal of achieving greater urban density.

Unico intends to install inhabit complexes at other urban infill sites across the city, and plans to pursue LEED certification for each community that it builds.

Each unit features several green construction features:

  • a green roof
  • heat-reflecting construction materials (which reduce cooling costs)
  • rubber flooring, and
  • the use of recycled decking materials

For more on inhabit and the modules’ sustainable features, see “Prefab Apartment Complex Clears Review Hurdle” in the Seattle Times, as well as the Unico website.

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To read more about prefabricated buildings, see:


US Fed News Service, Including US State News February 19, 2007 The University of Texas at Dallas issued the following news release:

High school juniors and seniors from the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) and other area schools will have an opportunity to learn about the college admissions process and career opportunities at a free, public event to be held Saturday, Feb. 24 on the campus of The University of Texas at Dallas. Organizers expect as many as 1,000 attendees.

En espa?±ol Called Las Llaves del Exito, which means “The Keys to Success,” the event will offer a wealth of information and advice, in English and Spanish, on planning for, applying to and paying for college, essay writing and test-taking and career opportunities. High school seniors in attendance will even be able to get admitted to a local college or university on site, provided they bring with them the required paperwork, including their parents’ 2006 income tax return, high school transcript and college admissions essay. website cedar valley college

“Many of the students in attendance will be the first in their families to attend college and therefore may not be familiar with the college admissions process,” said Matthew Sanchez, a member of the event planning committee and a recruiting coordinator in UT Dallas’ Enrollment Services Department. “As a result, we plan to offer hands-on assistance with admissions forms, scholarship applications and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. We view this event as an important first step by young men and women in achieving their college and career aspirations.” According to Sanchez, representatives from at least 13 area colleges and universities will be present to provide information and answer questions. These will include: go to site cedar valley college

* Brookhaven College * Cedar Valley College * Dallas TeleCollege * Eastfield College * El Centro College * Midwestern State University * Mountain View College * Northlake College * Richland College * Texas Woman’s University * University of North Texas Dallas Campus * The University of Texas at Arlington * The University of Texas at Dallas The event is sponsored by DISD, the Dallas County Community College District and area universities. For additional information about Las Llaves del Exito, please call 214-860-2432.

About UT Dallas The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 14,500 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s website at Steve McGregor, 972/883-2293,

Steve McGregor, 972/883-2293,

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