Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an additional, self-contained housing unit that is secondary to the main residence. ADUs can take many forms.  In some cases, an ADU can be attached as an addition to the house or as a second story over a garage, or in this case, an ADU can be a stand-alone unit like a small house.  The City requires that an ADU have a kitchen, bathroom, and place to sleep.  Alleys provide an excellent opportunity to ADU development with an access that is separate from the main house.

CCS Architecture was chosen along with several other architects to design the prototype ADUs for actual lots within the City of Santa Cruz, CA in order to portray the relationships between existing buildings and site conditions and compatible architectural designs and ideas for ADUs.  In addition, we have shown alternative approaches to design, which allow for some degree of flexibility in where ADUs can be placed on the lot and how they can fit into a community or neighborhood.

Although these prototype plans are fairly comprehensive, and portray much of the detail required for a permit to construct an ADU, homeowners considering using these plans will have to modify them to some degree to reflect their particular site conditions and design amenities.

Eco-Option ADU and “Green” Building Materials

The Eco-Option ADU plan provides for natural ventilation through clerestory windows and excellent sun lighting.  As with the other ADUs it can accommodate a variety of recycled and renewable materials.  The ADU Prototypes strive to take advantage of Santa Cruz’s climate, solar access and use of materials with higher insulating values.

These are some of the options included in CCS Architecture’s Eco-ADU:

  • Composting toilet
  • Buried grey water tank
  • Sink & bath drainage reclaimed as grey water for landscape irrigation
  • Photovoltaic electric provided by solar panels on roof
  • High efficiency in-line on demand hot water heater
  • Structural insulated panel (S.I.P.) wall construction
  • Sliding glass doors with dual paned low-e glazing
  • Window/door placement allows maximized natural cross-ventilation
  • Masonry for passive solar heat gain
  • Roof overhang provides sun shading in hot summer months
  • Concrete slab floor for passive solar heat gain
  • Operable skylight