The Scaffold

  • The Scaffold Sca 1 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • The Scaffold 1 2 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • The Scaffold Floor 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • The Scaffold Cover 444 1 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • The Scaffold 2 3 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • The Scaffold Unit 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • The Scaffold Plan 2 Housing Innovation Collaborative
  • The Scaffold Real 1 Housing Innovation Collaborative

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Completed Project Images

The Scaffold

Alejandra Novelo and Khoa Vu

Reinventing the use of scaffolding structure, combined with in-filled lightweight prefabricated units to create temporary, rapidly deployable, high density housing with increased flow of natural ventilation and daylighting.

Conceptual Idea Only


1 resident / 1 bedroom

$1,815 / resident

Temporary (<6 months)

45 days offsite 45 days onsite

Our design investigates a flexible architectural system using scaffolding structure and the in-filled lightweight prefabricated units. Our main design intent originated by the breakup of the typical transitional housing design layout, to allow for an increase flow of natural ventilation and daylighting. Consequently, the system of the design generates a certain flexibility that allows for the adaptation to different site conditions. Given the new broken layout, we subsequently generated community spaces that not only would maximize the site’s square footage’s potential, but it will also increase the quality of living for the users.

The material of the design lowers the cost by utilizing prefabricated modules and standard scaffolding construction. In the urban perspective, this architectural system, while maximize the living units, generates large shared spaces in between, which promotes a sense of community among the residents.

  • Quoted Total Cost: $1,815
  • Planned Occupancy (1 person/bed): 1 bed
  • Estimated Cost Per Bed: $1,815
  • Quote’s Total Interior Square Footage: 60 sqft
  • Quote Includes # Units: 1 unit
  • Used for Shelter Before: Yes, but only outside the U.S.
  • Readiness: Conceptual Idea Only
  • In Stock / Ready to Ship Today: No
  • Manufacturer Identified and Available: N/A
  • Setup Speed: <90 days
  • Setup Difficulty: Moderate (prefab assembly)
  • % Built Onsite: <10% – Arrives Ready, Almost All Built/Assembled Off-Site
  • Portability: Semi-Mobile (detachable, minor disassembly)
  • Intended Use of Shelter: Temporary (<6 months)
Design Advantages
Manufacturer Identified No
Used for shelter in the U.S.? No
Prior use examples 1) El Pueblo Emergency Homeless Shelter, Los Angeles City Initiative
2) Add On. 20 Höhenmeter, Fattinger Orso Architektur, Vienna, Austria
2) M4 By Francisco Magone And Luciano Lopez Architects, Montevideo, Uruguay
3) Schaustelle By J. Mayer H, Munich, Germany
Prior use comments Scaffolding is utilized in standardized construction methods, and prefabricated modules have been utilized in architecture construction for years.
Building experience comments
Intended use cases It is intended to be utilized as a temporary housing methods to solve homelessness to house the needed while other more permanent structures are been built.
R-value (insulation)
Risk Category
Roof Load (PSF)
Indoor Clearance Height (ft)
Waterproof? Yes
Professional Engineer Stamp?
Conforms to ICC’s Temporary Structure and Uses Code
Other Structural / Safety Comments
Sustainability / Green Building Certifications?
Materials Used / Made of: 1) The Scaffolding system
2) Plywood
3) Polycarbonated sheets
Disassembly / Assembly Comments:
Ideal Mounting Surfaces Soil (Dirt/Grass), Asphalt / Parking Lot
Anchoring Process A raised platform, same as utilized in EL PUEBLO EMERGENCY HOMELESS SHELTER, LOS ANGELES CITY INITIATIVE.


Item Cost ($) Notes
Materials $ 1a. Living Component 60sf Each Material Per Unit (Approximate): – Wood Stud Structure (28 2×4 Studs) $150 – Plywood Top And Bottom And Cabinets (6 Sheets) $600 – Corrugated Polycarbonate (7 4×8’ Sheets Per Unit -$100 Per Sheet)= $700 – Door =$50 – Window Will Be Provided By Operable Corrugated Panel) – Mattress + Pillow= $110 – Bedding + Blanket= $40 Subtotal= $1,650 X1.1 (Taxes) = $1,815
Delivery $
Service Component $ 1B. SERVICE COMPONENT 120SF EACH – 120SF X $50/SF = $6,000 EACH – 4 OFFICES (INCLUDING 1 HEALTH CLINIC) – 4 X 6,000 = $24,000 – 3 RESTROOMS – 120SF X $150/SF = $18,000 – 3 X 18,000 = $54,000 – 1 KITCHEN = $50,000
Budget Total $960
Total Per Bed $960
Total Per Unit $960
Add-on Items Subtotal= 8 Service Components = $128,000 1c.Scaffold Sf? – Varies = X 2. Project Costs
– Land – $0 (Owned By La County Or City Of La)
– Construction Costs – $389,000 + Scaffold = X
– Contingency (10% Of Construction Costs)- $ 0.1x
– General Contractor Fee (20% Of Construction Costs) – $ 0.2x
– Soft Costs (Architecture, Engineering Etc…) 25% Of Construction Costs -0.25x Total Project Cost (Until Finalized Construction): X +0.45x = X
Check all items that are not included in your quote (i.e. would need to be quoted by outside party) Foundation work, Delivery Charge
List outside vendors needed to execute (including any architects and engineers)
Possible Delivery Method(s) Airdrop, Flat pack module
Design (days)
Production (days)
Site Prep (days)
Delivery (days)
Total (days) 0
Amount in Inventory (#)
Production Capacity
Production Location

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