Utah Territory Manager, Jared Weston worked on a very special build to help a family in need by collaborating with the University of Utah’s Architecture students.
The Design+Build Salt Lake program at the University of Utah’s School of Architecture is a new collaboration and immersive experience developed by architect and associate professor Jörg Rügemer. Through the program, students develop, design and construct affordable, energy-efficient and resilient residential buildings from first sketch to final construction. The program serves communities around Salt Lake City and along the Wasatch Front.
As the local territory manager, I acted as a resource for Professor Rügemer and the students on the current project, the Kunga ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit).
The Kunga family are of Tibetan origin with strong family ties. The ADU is meant to serve a multigenerational household with growing space needs. The ADU occupant suffered a severe car accident, leaving her paraplegic. Working side by side with the Kunga family, the students designed and built a highly energy-efficient, sustainable and accessible small building to fit the client’s needs.
ADUs were just approved in Salt Lake City in early 2019, and this project is one of the first in the city. According to the City’s guidelines, the project can be no larger than 650 sq. ft. and no taller than 17 ft. The ADU comprises a full kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom and upper storage loft. The loft was designed not only to provide more space, but also to accommodate a more open feel for the connected living space below. The main area is visually connected to the yard and main home.
This project allows the family to stay in their current home despite the growing need for space. It was constructed on campus in an open area right outside of the School of Architecture building and was completed late last year.
Simpson Strong-Tie’s Stockton location (Branch 20) donated needed products, and I provided technical and installation support to the students, in addition to highlighting the design and value-engineered advantages of Simpson Strong-Tie products and services.
The Design+Build students have been appreciative of their connection with our company, a connection that will stay with them as they embark on their new professional careers.
As of November 2020, the ADU was completed and the Kunga family was able to move in. Even more exciting, this building has already received its first Design Award — the 2020 AIA (American Institute of Architects) Utah Merit Award. To learn more about the build and its customization for the occupants, visit the Design+Build Salt Lake blog.