In Colorado, as elsewhere in the country, affordable housing is in short supply. In the last decade, average rent in the state increased a staggering 103 percent, while the median price of single-family homes rose by 131 percent. Wages, meanwhile, grew by only 71 percent. Even in the state’s most prosperous areas, the problem has increased dramatically. For example, in 2003, 50 percent of renters in Boulder County could not afford a two-bedroom apartment at the fair market value set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
During four consecutive semesters, starting in the summer of 2005, senior environmental design students worked with Thistle Community Housing and the Mapleton Mobile Homeowners Association in Boulder to design and build a comfortable, attractive, structurally sound and energy-efficient dwelling using the chassis of an abandoned trailer home. The unit will meet local codes and standards. Expected to be completed in August, 2007, it will be occupied by a qualifying local household.
The project creates a demonstration model for building a low-cost housing unit with simple technologies. It taught a new generation of young design professionals about the housing challenges facing low-income households and the possibilities of adaptive reuse. Finally, the project shows the potential of developing a curriculum that provides experiential, hands-on learning in service of community needs.
TrailerWrap received the following awards:
Funding for this project came from the CU Boulder Outreach Committee; the Institute for Ethical and Civic Engagement; the Service-Learning Program at UCB; and the CU President’s Office for Diversity and Excellence.
Download a PDF description and photos of the completed project:
Design Outreach: The TrailerWrap Project [531 KB]
Download the article about TrailerWrap featured in Dwell:
Upwardly Mobile Homes [753 KB]
For more information, visit http://trailerwrap.net or contact firstname.lastname@example.org