This guide is a curated collection of best practices for design and building professionals, as well as DIY-inclined homeowners, who are creating accessory dwelling units (ADUs or ARUs). The information is also generally relevant to single family homes of any scale. It provides clear guidance on what can seem to be a confusing myriad of requirements or options regarding building and energy codes, building assembly detailing, mechanical systems and more—giving you confidence to make better decisions.
For support with development feasibility, the permitting process and other general topics, explore the Resource Library.
What do you mean by best practices?
As building professionals who are passionate about comfort, health and our extraordinary planet, BuildingGenius collaborators encourage all-electric systems built on a solid foundation of passive design principles. This strategy maximizes resiliency in the face of climate change, comfort in the face of extreme weather events or grid blackouts, and money you or your clients will save by not spending it on energy that wasn’t needed in the first place. If these ideals seem too ambitious for you we think you’ll still find a lot of value in this guide.
How do I use it?
For any children of the 80’s out there, think of this as Choose Your Own Adventure for design topics. If you have a specific design challenge you want to tackle right now, jump straight to the component or system from the following ADU schematic or the Table of Contents on the right. Otherwise, review it like a regular book by using the navigation "page flip" arrows just below this content (above the comments).
The Best Practices content is under development!
Unless you're a private beta participant, this is currently the only visible page in the best practices section and you won't see the table of contents, bottom navigation options or comment thread. The topics being developed include:
- House as a System
- Air Sealing
- Solar PV