Providing a Home for Every Family on the Planet

LOS ANGELES, Calif: Architect Peter DeMaria, pioneer of the cargo container architecture movement, had been flying under the radar the last couple of years - but that's changed, today.

Immersed in the development of a scalable prefab building system, DeMaria designed and directed the construction of full-scale prototypes for a proprietary prefab modular system with HBG/Azria Homes. HBG/Azria's founder, fashion icon Max Azria, recently passed away and his vision to create a home for every family on the planet is thriving and led to the company's first prefabricated steel modular building - a five story multi-family affordable housing project on Alvarado Boulevard in the City of Los Angeles.

The project provides 84 units to low income residents is funded and managed by LSA Development and is named, Hope on Alvarado (HOA).

Collaborating with KTGY Architecture/Planning, the Alvarado project is a turnkey model/solution for the funding, design, development, fabrication and construction of large-scale housing projects.

DeMaria's early container based explorations evolved into next generation prefab steel modules - the core modular solution for a series of HBG/Azria's Los Angeles affordable and homeless housing projects. These modules provide quality construction (heavy gauge steel) with an accelerated construction schedule (25 to 40% reduction in construction time) at a competitive price point (15 to 30% less than traditional construction) by outsourcing their fabrication to their prefab facility in Shanghai.

Fulfilling and exceeding the standards of the State of California Housing & Community Development Agency (HCD) as well as the US National Building Code, the modules are inspected by HCD inspectors at the HBG/Azria fabrication facility overseas.

HBG/Azria's modules are utilized on multi-family affordable housing projects, single family homes, homeless shelters, Bridge Housing projects and market rate apartments in Los Angeles.

DeMaria believes future buildings will be designed and constructed resembling collaborative fabrication processes historically employed for automobiles, computers and airplanes - ultimately producing, 'Architecture as a Product' or (AaaP).

HBG/Azria were contacted by LSA Development and KTGY Architects at the onset of the HOA project to execute their flagship modular project. Because HBG/Azria's proprietary 45' long and 10.5' tall modules, enable living units with higher ceilings and a wider range of floor plan options, they were deemed a perfect fit.

In August, the 12-ton heavy gauge steel building modules were transported from HBG's China-based fabrication facility to the Port of Shanghai and off-loaded at the Port of Long Beach, just 30 minutes from the HOA project site. The concrete foundation complete, a 200-ton crane will set the modules on site.

Lifted and set in-place, the modules are connected via bolts and welds, assuring compliance with seismic/earthquake resistant requirements for the State of California - the most stringent in the US. The construction speed of these projects provides a huge and immediate advantage over traditional construction methodologies due to the affordable housing shortage in Los Angeles.

HOA will showcase the use of this modular technology, the first of its kind in the US on the first of five new multi-family projects. The HBG/Azria hybrid steel modules are delivered with finished electrical, plumbing, mechanical, millwork/cabinets, Energy Star rated appliances and interior/exterior finished paint; satisfying all code requirements for multi-family/multi-story residential projects as well as, single family residences and accessory dwelling units (ADU).

The HBG/Azria building blocks is spearheading a multitude of Title 24 State of California Energy Efficiency compliant projects. The HOA timeline includes the install of the second through fifth floor modules culminating with a finished project in Spring 2020.

DeMaria and HBG/Azria are collaborating with LSA/KTGY Development team on two prominent Bridge Housing projects for the City of Los Angeles, planned for groundbreaking in October and estimated completion January 2020.

Planned around an internal community space/courtyard, the modules are an innovative system applied to a historically tested and successful architectural design scheme, providing a social oasis for residents in the open-air courtyard. DeMaria summarizes,'s simple...people are meant to be loved and things are meant to used... what started out as an architectural exploration, nearly fifteen years ago, is blossoming into a viable solution for affordability.

We owe much gratitude to Max Azria, the visionary who dedicated his final two years of life to providing a safe place to live for everyone - especially the 1.6 billion people on the planet who are without adequate housing.

Every day, our goal is to nurture, fulfill and expand upon Max's vision - we're now going to live it.
(PRN | 4 months ago)

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Providing a Home for Every Family on the Planet