This guide uses an underground music scene–inspired theme to discuss how these smaller-scale housing forms can be recombined in varying ways as a “modular mixtape” for construction on city lots or arranged in various forms on larger tracts of land. Like Volume I, these buildable plans are 95 percent complete and are scaled for smaller urban lots. They are available free of charge, with appropriate cautionary recommendations for users’ due diligence.
Like Volume I, this manual is informed by historic pattern book housing precedents designed to fit into the regional context of Michigan neighborhoods and is predicated on implementing the zoning fixes necessary to enable the kind of neighborhoods we all desire. The plans in this project are a quick, free, and attractive design option for responding to present housing needs. And, just like a good mixtape’s handmade cover art, these designs offer differing finish options to promote stylistic variation and choice. They also have optional Universal Design elements to make ground floor units barrier-free.
This mixtape even includes a hidden track right inside the walls: they’ve been designed with structural insulated panels (SIPs) for increased efficiency in both speed of construction and energy usage.
These plans are not the only solution to current housing needs, but they are a way to increase the drumbeat for more small-scale energy-efficient homes. And to entice communities to press play, The Missing Middle Mixtape also gives an overview of current potential lenders or other financing programs to assist in implementing the recommended housing concepts.