Accessory Dwelling Unit Standard Plan Program

WHY was invited to take part in the City of LA’s ADU Standard Plan Pilot Program, spearheaded by the City’s Chief Design Officer, Christopher Hawthorne. ADUs (accessory dwelling units) increase the supply of affordable housing in a city notorious for its urban sprawl; they’re also ideal for homeowners looking to add value to their property with increased living space and high design.

Key info
Design Architect
Executed by WHY Architecture Workshop Inc.
Los Angeles County
  • Commenced 2021
  • 1BD - 480 sf; 2BD - 800 sf

Given the Program’s goal to maximize affordability, we sought a solution which would dramatically cut the cost of traditional site-built construction. WHY’s 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom ADUs are designed in partnership with a prefabrication partner, which makes for an expediated and economical construction process. Furthermore, the pre-approved Standard Plans have been reviewed for compliance with the Building, Residential, and Green Codes – removing the need for the owner to submit permits for the foundation or building design.


We believe that creative agency is an essential component of quality of life. Too often, when budgets are tight and options are limited, opportunities for personal customization fall by the wayside. While still conforming to local code requirements, our ADUs offer extensive opportunities for creative flair – including a specially commissioned art wall. While the design as a whole draws on the expertise of our team, there’s also plenty of scope for the new owner to play the role of designer.

The ADU Standard Plan Program is about making ADUs more accessible, more affordable, and more beautiful — and making them part of the blueprint of our efforts to tackle our housing crunch and create more affordable communities citywide

Eric Garcetti
Mayor of Los Angeles
Standard Plan Program
  • LA City Department of Building and Safety
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