Good Things Come in Small Packages!

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are specifically designed to be accessory to a primary house. To make it an accessory, the code in Portland requires it to be 800sqft -OR-75% of the square footage of the primary dwelling, whichever is less. If you have a smaller house, you may be limited to a smaller ADU. Below is our case study for a compact 1-bedroom ADU coming in at 375sqft.


In Portland, there are compact bungalows in every neighborhood. They often end up having large yards due to their smaller footprint. This provides an excellent opportunity for a Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU). Due to the size restrictions, the DADU will likely need to be 75% or less the square footage of the primary house. Our challenge on this project was to design a DADU to be placed behind a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom bungalow, with the added requirement of being a 1-bedroom unit, not a studio. Architect and small space expert Eli Green was up to the challenge.


Utilizing our standard building envelope, Eli designed a unit at 16’x26′ that would include a one-sided kitchen that opened onto the living room, a bedroom that was full of windows and a patio door onto it’s own backyard, and a full bathroom complete with a bathtub and a stacking washer/dryer. Pocket doors for both the bedroom and bathroom eliminated blank floor space to allow for door swings. We capped the bathroom with a ceiling to allow for some storage above. High windows on the backside allow the southern sun to shine in while providing privacy from the neighbors.


Even before the final cleaning of the unit, it was rented out! For someone looking for their own private space, these compact DADUs are the perfect solution at a cost around 2/3rds of an apartment, but include yard and open space. Finally, this compact 1-bedroom DADU is Earth Advantage Certified Platinum. Both owner and tenants will sleep well at night knowing that this DADU is the pinnacle in healthy, sustainable, and efficient living.