Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the Competition Brief, and direct any questions to info@aiachicago.org. Your questions will be answered as they are received and will inform the FAQ page.


FAQ:

Q: IS THE COMPETITION OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL TEAMS AND PARTICIPANTS?

A: Yes. Please indicate your location in the specified spaces on the registration form. 


Q: HOW MANY TEAM MEMBERS ARE ALLOWED?

A: We are not placing a limit on the number of individuals on a team.


Q: PLEASE CLARIFY THE ZONING RESTRICTIONS. WHAT IS THE TOWNHOUSE ORDINANCE?

A: The city of Chicago requires that only one house be built per lot; however, we are using the Townhouse Ordinance to build multiple tiny homes on one lot. The ordinance states that there can be multiple structures as long as they are physically connected. How you connect the structures is up to you—get creative!


Q: DOES THE COMMUNAL SPACE HAVE TO BE SEPARATE FROM THE HOUSES?

A: To clarify: this is not a competition to build an apartment complex or townhouses. Each house should be its own unit, while the Communal Space should be independent from the houses. If you are configuring common entrances, that is allowed. However, the spirit of this competition is that of Tiny Homes. Learn more about the tiny house movement here.


Q: EXPLAIN THE PARKING LOT.

A: The city requires that developments have parking; you must include a hardscaped surface that can be used as parking. However, it can also be multi-functional.


Q: FOR HOW LONG CAN WE EXPECT RESIDENTS TO LIVE IN THE TINY HOMES? IS THERE A LIMIT IN OCCUPANTS PER HOUSE?

A: Consider this similar to student housing. 2-4 years expected residency. Only one resident per unit.


Q: THERE ARE TWO MAXIMUM COSTS LISTED. PLEASE EXPLAIN.

A: We ask that each module (tiny home) cost no more than $30,000. We provide an extra $30,000 (totaling the listed $60,000) to account for foundations, labor and utility hook-ups. You do not have to include the cost of pouring a foundation, labor or utilities in your final materials costs. Your cost list does have to include the basic items listed, including toilets and sinks. Do not account for sales tax.


Q: CAN THERE BE MULTIPLE STORIES TO THE TINY HOMES COMPLEX; OR FOR EACH UNIT?

A: Yes. Though it might not make sense due to accessibility or cost issues, there may be multiple stories.


Q: IS THERE A MAXIMUM BUILDING COST FOR THE COMMUNAL SPACE? IS THERE A MAXIMUM SQUARE FOOTAGE FOR THE COMMUNAL SPACE?

A: No. The communal space must contain items listed in the brief; however, it can be a relatively free-from-constraints space. However, the communal space must be fully accessible, unlike the tiny homes, which only need to meet visitable requirements.


Q: CAN WE TREAT THE FOUR LOTS AS ONE?

A: Yes. You may divide or join the lots as needed.


Q: WILL YOU PROVIDE CAD FILES FOR THE SITE?

A: No. No CAD filed will be provided.


Q: ARE THERE BUILDING HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS?

A: IVA construction limits the height to chapter 13-48-030 of the City of Chicago Building Code (COPY AND PASTE THIS LINK INTO YOUR BROWSER): http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/municipalcodeofchicago?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il

  • 2 stories or 40' With this exception: Other requirements notwithstanding, three floors shall be permitted in one-, two-, and three-family structures when exterior wood frame walls provide one hour protection from fire exposure inside and out, when the third floor area of any separate unit does not exceed 800 square feet and when the ground floor area does not exceed 1,600 square feet.

For the practical purposes of this competition though (mainly cost & accessibility issues), multiple floors may not make sense, but they are allowed.


Q: WHY IS A PART OF THE LOT ON THE SOUTHWEST CORNER CUT OFF?

A: Please ignore this path of dirt and follow the yellow lines on the competition brief's designated lots.


Q: ARE THERE RESOURCES THAT MIGHT HELP US DESIGN SPACES THAT ARE MORE IN-TUNE WITH THE NEEDS OF RESIDENTS?

A: Yes! Contact us if you'd like to speak with an individual for which these homes are being designed. They can provide insights into what homeless young adults need in a housing structure.



AIA Chicago Foundation

TINY HOMES COMPETITION SPONSORS