SCAD pad: Could parking garages be the apartment buildings of the future?

Atlanta, GA (WGCL) -- Students and faculty at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta spent several weeks this spring living in three micro-homes, called SCAD Pads.

The structures are built within the confines of a parking space on the third floor of the SCAD parking deck in midtown Atlanta.

"I feel like it has everything a house would have, but it's smaller," said Lynda Elayna, a SCAD student who has twice this spring lived in one of the three units. "It's a lot bigger than I thought it would be."

The units were built by students and faculty as an urban housing experiment, focused on sustainable living and making the most out of every inch of space. The shower, bathroom sink and toilet exist within six feet of each other, and the stove, kitchen sink, fridge, freezer and microwave share the same space in a corner of the unit.

Micro apartments have seen development in some parts of the United States, Europe and Asia. But the SCAD model is based upon the concept of using a parking deck as a pre-existing shell to house apartments.

"I think it's just giving everybody a chance to think about how to live in a different way," said Elayna.

SCAD's temporary occupancy permit with the city expired at the end of June, meaning the residents who called the SCAD Pads home for the spring have moved out.

College officials will not say what they plan to do next with the units, or if they could become a commercial venture in Atlanta.


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