Lorena Castillo-Ware 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 Lorena and her essay submission. You can vote for her essay submission by clicking herehttps://www.ccisbonds.com/vote/.

Lorena is a senior at the University of Washington, where she’s working towards a degree in construction management. Her passion for construction was born out of a desire to build her own home. Lorena hopes she can use her degree to influence more women to pursue a career in construction. She has spent time as a board member for Dress for Success, the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACE), Calvary Christian Assembly and Gamma Alpha Omega. Lorena’s hobbies include spending time with family and friends while watching horse races and UFC matches. 

Lorena’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?

How viable are the use of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to replace the building of full-size, single-family homes? Living units added to, created within, or detached from a primary home is a strategy for providing affordable housing. Building a stand-alone structure or converting a garage into living space may be ideal. Utilizing extra space in your yard to build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is feasible and rewarding for all communities. The ADU can provide safe accommodations for dwellers and can generate extra income for homeowners. The cost of housing needs to be equitable; especially for elderly, recent graduates, homeless persons and low-income families. Major cities in the US are striving to alleviate the increasing homelessness problem. In Los Angeles County, a pilot project involved paying homeowners to renovate their homes to provide housing for homeless persons. In Seattle, Washington, permitting and building codes were revised to motivate homeowners to build ADUs more promptly and financially feasible. The increased density will benefit the dwellers, but also the community and environments. Local neighborhood shops will have increased sales. Homeowners will have extra income. Neighborhoods will grow without dramatically impacting the overall character of the neighborhood. ADUs are smaller single-family homes that have less of an environmental impact. What other options do you think the construction industry should consider when addressing the housing crisis? I propose prefab homes that can be delivered in pieces and then assembled on-site by the homeowner. The homeowner could be provided with instructions to build their own home. The homeowner could also decide to stack the modular prefab home to increase square footage. These un-assembled prefab homes can include a tool kit with all tools, supplies and instructions to construct the home. The buyer of un-assembled prefab homes can have the option to add green elements to their home; such as solar panels and tankless water heaters. Other options for addressing the housing crisis could be temporary housing, such as “rotating” tent cities or mobile mini-wooden cubes. The tents or wooden cubes can temporarily park in bare plots of land/space and utility/water/sewer would be provided in a separate community center. This option has been used in Seattle, WA and when housing refugees. Another option is to revamp existing buildings; such as, remodeling abandoned hotels, warehouses and hospitals to house families and single persons.