• Maximum Footprint, Minimum Space: A Guide to Small-Lot Residential Accessory Building Construction

      Conner, Edward Michael (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020-12-01)
      Short of reading several chapters of building codes that lack diagrams, helpful descriptions or layman’s glossary of terms, homeowners are without a starting point when constructing an accessory structure such as a shed, fence or deck on their property. This project evaluated industry best practices, analyzed areas of misunderstanding or misapplication of Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) regulations, and developed a user-friendly pamphlet to reference for design and construction of accessory buildings on shared residential lots. Key stakeholder interviews and community surveys were conducted throughout project planning and execution phases to identify knowledge gaps and pain points. Employing and adapting the pamphlet while constructing a shed that purposefully maximized dimensional limits set forth by MOA and homeowner’s association (HOA) regulations for small residential lots produced a succinct, yet comprehensive guide. Thorough research and site surveys identified a lack of understanding of building code terminology coupled with minimal HOA oversight which ultimately led to structures built too close to others, in violation of zoning easements, and even those that create safety hazards by blocking utility shut-off access. The final academic deliverable is an instructional guide that streamlines the planning process by supplementing building code legalese with detailed diagrams on how to properly position structures, acts a risk mitigation instrument by highlighting common legal exposures, identifies fixed constraints in layman’s terms and underscores hazards common to building accessory structures.