The Housing Crisis: How Architects Can Drive Change

Learn how the industry can reduce the cost of housing development leading to affordable housing solutions.


Cities across the United States are struggling with housing shortages. In the midst of this crisis, the HKS San Francisco studio was awarded an internal design fellowship research grant to explore a pressing question: How can architects help optimize the design and construction of multifamily housing? In this course, the panelists will present HKS's key takeaways from a year-long deep dive into this critical issue. Learn how our industry can address the cost of housing development through modularization, off-site construction, and lean manufacturing methods, and examine opportunities to streamline the construction process, reduce labor costs, and shorten construction durations.

Learning objectives

  • Enhance your understanding of the economics behind residential and multifamily development, including development fees, land costs, construction costs, and soft costs like design fees
  • Identify and understand proposed and current local legislation to help incentivize and streamline housing development at all levels of affordability 
  • Look at building design as part of whole-project cost, and identify with the team opportunities for savings—e.g. designing a unitized building façade, designing bathrooms to be pre-fabricated, or designing to accommodate a shortened construction schedule
  • Identify opportunities early on to set up designs for flexibility and to successfully implement off-site construction, modular components, and/or pre-fabrication
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 $40  non-member
 $25  member
1.00 LU
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  • Holly E. Arnold

    Holly E. Arnold


    Vice President and Architect | HKS

    With more than 20 years of experience, Holly Egan Arnold, AIA, LEED AP is an architect and a vice...
  • Jay Bradshaw

    Jay Bradshaw

    Director of Organizing | Northern California Carpenters Regional Council

    Jay Bradshaw Jay is the Director of Organizing for the Northern California Carpenters Regional...
  • Todd David Headshot

    Todd David

    Executive Director | San Francisco Housing Action Coalition (SFHAC)

    Todd has been SFHAC’s Executive Director since November 2016. He has been active in San Francisco...