In response to the affordability challenge, the Grow Home, a rowhouse 4.3 metres wide with 93 square metres of living space was developed. In June 1990 a full-size demonstration unit was built on the McGill University campus. The $36,000 (construction cost) home demonstrated several cost-reduction strategies, the main one being the reduction of overall size and an unpartitioned second floor that allowed users to finish the floor by themselves. This approach was accompanied by a design strategy for future upgrading; thus some surface materials, such as the kitchen floor, were selected for easy removal and upgrade. The main objectives of the research were to find out what kind of trade-offs people were willing to make in order to become homeowners, given the principles demonstrated in the design. Analysis of a questionaire given to visitors showed that respondents with lower incomes were likely to make more trade-offs, both in terms of the house itself and in terms of location and proximity to services.


















Source of funding: Dow Canada Inc.

Publications: The Grow Home. McGill University, Affordable Homes Program, 1990.

"The Grow Home." Progressive Architecture, June 1991.