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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2021 Abstracts

Authentic Affordable Achitecture

Presenter: Zach Haws, College of Engineering and Technology, Architecture
Authors: Zach Haws
Faculty Advisor: Brandon Ro, College of Engineering and Technology, Architecture
Institution: Utah Valley University

In our local climate here in Utah, the housing market continues to rage. I have heard it said, “we cannot build houses fast enough” and “If we could build enough inventory for the demand, we would probably be twice as busy”. Due to such demand, in just the last six months the average price for a single-family home has increased close to 10%, from $365,000 to $399,000. With that in mind, how do we move forward to a brighter future of affordable housing and architecture that speaks, and even better sings? Do we continue to water down our houses, buildings, and communities that lack quality, connection, and detail to keep the price affordable? To make my point more relevant, I have compared two example communities in the local region. In my opinion, one being a bad example of affordable housing, and the other being a good example. As I am looking at affordability, my main objective has been to compare price points, but as well, I have looked at longevity, sustainability, amenities, and architectural character. Through my research, I have pulled information and content from local real estate agents, local news reports and each community/developers’ websites. In conclusion of my research, I have found that the price point for each community compares relatively close to apples to apples. You might think nothing of this, but when you bring in the other factors, it is made clear to me which community would give you the most bang for your buck. While one community strips it down to the bare essentials, the other brings much more to the table. As my eyes have been opened to the possibilities for affordable housing, it is my hope to educate and redefine communities for the future.