Lindsey Lockhart applied for our Fall Semester 2020 Future Contractor Scholarship and her essay was selected to be one of our voted upon finalists. Below is some student information about Lindsey and her essay submission. You can vote for her essay submission by clicking herehttps://www.ccisbonds.com/vote/.

Lindsey will be a sophomore at the University of Kentucky this coming fall, where she is working towards a degree in civil engineering. She loves that civil engineering has rules to solve problems, but there are multiple ways to apply them, allowing her to get creative in finding unique solutions to similar scenarios. Lindsey likes to stay busy by interning during the summer, mentoring on campus, participating in the Society of Women in Engineering and cheering for the Wildcats at all UK sporting events. 

Lindsey’s essay: With the growing need for housing, specifically affordable housing, how viable are the use of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to replace the building of full-size, single-family homes? What other options do you think the construction industry should consider when addressing the housing crisis?

I believe that ADUs are a viable option for small families or older couples, but I do not think they can replace traditional family housing entirely. Full size, single-family homes will always be built because four-person nuclear families are not going anywhere. I do believe ADUs can stimulate the housing market by minimizing the need for couples or singles to buy family houses that they do not need. I do believe ADUs will become increasingly popular because of the trend among millennials and Generation Z to live with their parents longer into adulthood and the trend in the same age groups to wait or elect not have kids at all; this type of housing arrangement would allow them the cheaper option of living with their parents but also provide the privacy of moving out. ADUs provide these demographic groups with flexibility in commitment wise and financially because they can rent a nice space without the commitment of purchasing. The option of purchasing a property with an ADU is also lucrative to the current generation because it could provide a second income from renting their ADU. Another reason these unique housing unit are feasible to replace the building of conventional houses is because they are smaller, therefore faster and cheaper to build. Another option the construction industry could take into consideration would be to modernize and make older houses more ecofriendly. By renovating older houses, the cost of completely building a house is eliminated and only renovation cost is left, which is significantly less; it must be noted some older houses are in such bad condition that renovation cost could exceed the cost of rebuilding the house, in which case the latter is the better option. Regarding making houses ecofriendly, making renovations such as updating toilets to the modern more efficient flushing systems, replacing power with solar panels, or upgrading to more efficient insulation decreases the cost of water, power, and heating/cooling. The most important thing the construction industry must consider is their contribution to unaffordability of houses by being inefficient. When a construction team is inefficient with the way they build houses, they can rack up hundreds of hours of unnecessary labor, which elevates the price of the house. Even more so than unproductive labor, the industry should be more effective with the way in which it buys, distributes, and uses materials; they need to find a way to streamline their material sourcing and optimize the use of the materials they do acquire. By making the housing units more affordable, the housing market is stimulated because more, low-income citizens want to buy into it.