If you are interested in writing about the BI(h)OME project, please feel free to use the information and materials provided below. For more information, contact us. Thank you!

Mission Statement


UCLA’s cityLAB in collaboration with Kevin Daly Architects has built an ultra-modern, lightweight cottage that could not only meet the current demand for 100,000 additional housing units in Los Angeles, but could also address critical environmental concerns. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has called for building 100,000 additional housing units in the city. There are close to 500,000 backyards in Los Angeles, and cityLAB has found that around 100,000 of those backyards can host a small backyard home. The low-cost, low-impact BI(h)OME could serve as housing for an elderly parent, a returning college graduate, or a rental unit. The BI(h)OME represents design innovation that integrates sophisticated as well as low-end technologies. It is designed to be easy to install, easy to remove, and readily recyclable. Rather than requiring a mortgage, it could be leased like a car so it does not need to be permanent. It can flexibly serve the needs of homeowners for as long as they want and then be removed. The environmental impact of the structure over its entire life cycle is between 10 and 100 times less than a conventional auxiliary dwelling. These efficiencies come primarily from its lightness as it weighs about 8 pounds per square foot.

The BI(h)OME frame and skin can be configured in different ways to fit a range of backyards and households. The demonstration version at UCLA, while smaller than a two-car garage, shows just how spacious a 350 square foot dwelling feels. Living with less space, less water, and less energy is part of the ultimate goal of the BI(h)OME. When installed in a complete form, the BI(h)OME would catch the sun via photovoltaic cells that can be printed on the outside layer of the BI(h)OME’s skin as well as contain a biodegradable toilet and a gray water system. The wooden end walls could host an edible garden as well as habitats for other species living in our backyards like birds and butterflies.

The luminous, energy-and-water-efficient, multi-species BI(h)OME is the result of fruitful collaboration between students and faculty at UCLA. It is one prong of the university’s Sustainable Los Angeles Grand Challenge. For a complete list of project team members, see below. For more details, please explore the rest of the website or feel free to contact us via the Contact tab. For previously written articles on the BI(h)OME, please refer to the News tab. The BI(h)OME debuted at UCLA’s Broad Arts Center Courtyard on June 10, 2015 and will remain on display throughout the summer.


Press Photos

BI(h)OME Construction Timelapse

Project Contributors

Team Leaders

cityLAB-UCLA, Dana Cuff

Kevin Daly Architects, Kevin Daly

Winter Quarter Students

Sarah Sibohan Johnson

Mark Lagola

Nawid Piracha

 Special Thanks

Chris Waterman

Jeff Averill

Guy Custis

          AUD Student Team          

Andrew Akins

Garth Britzman

Dee Chang

Katie Chuh

Ciro Dimson

Adrien Forney

Kara Moore

Dami Olufowoshe

Lyo Liu

Trenman Yau

Project Team

Julian Daly

Peter Nguyen

Kody Kellogg

Max Miller

Lucia Christensen

Professional Consultants

Carlos Grande; contractor

Therese Kelly; landscape, LA Urban Ranger

UCLA Faculty and Staff

Jonathan Crisman

Carlos Montoya

Blake Rainy

Carlos Rigual

Carla Salehian

Leroy Sisneros

Philip Soderlind

Erik Ulstrup

Lorenzo Villanuev