“Single people now make up a third of New York City’s households and with the average rent for a studio at $2,600, the city responded in 2012 by announcing a competition to design units smaller than the minimum size of 400 square feet. Mimi Hoang and Eric Bunge of nArchitects won with their ‘My Micro NY’ proposal (now called Carmel Place).

With 55 units ranging from 260 to 360 square feet, Carmel Place is the city’s first modular micro-apartment building. Hoang explains the building had to be prefabbed in order to squeeze as many units as possible on the small site.

“Even though we’re shrinking the square footage of the apartment, we still had to comply with a lot of regulations, regulations about minimize size- minimize size of the kitchen, the counter length, of living space dimension- so the tolerances that we were working with were within an eighth of an inch which is really not possible with traditional construction so basically all the fine-tuning was done in the factory to get it really, really exact.”

Due to codes, the bathroom and kitchen size was predetermined so the architects worked with transforming furniture to make the living room/bedroom multifunctional.”

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Just for comparison, our Earthbag Roundhouse cost a little over $2,000. The big difference of course is our roundhouse was a one-time expense and now it’s paid for. A NYC apartment is a recurring monthly expense. These micro-apartments are $2,700 – $3,200/month! So they’re charging more than the studio apartments referenced in the video. The amount of money you could save over a lifetime by building your own small or tiny home is mindboggling. Like it or not though, these micro-apartments may very well become the wave of the future in big cities.


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