New Golden modular home company wants to be a part of Colorado's housing solution

A new Golden company is making an effort to fix Colorado’s affordable housing shortage. Addazu, a modular housing company, has unveiled what it believes could be the solution to the crisis.

The company’s demo unit is a paneled home of just 130 square feet, designed to contain a twin bed that folds up and down, a kitchenette with an induction stove and a fold-down desk and storage space. Company owner Kelly Pickering calls it an “exploratory mining shed.”

Addazu’s customer for the unit owns a mining claim outside of Breckenridge; the unit will also include a water tank, solar panels and water heater for the structure, Pickering said.

Addazu — Welsh for “adapt” — has target customers that are private affordable housing developers. Pickering said Addazu’s construction times take about an eighth of the time that traditional building takes.

Pickering, who was born in Wheat Ridge and raised in Lakewood, has been building his company since 2021. With a background in user experience, product and system design, Pickering attended the Colorado School of Mines’ advanced manufacturing program because he had the desire to bring physical products that would make a difference in people’s lives. 

“We really want to help make an impact on that missing middle housing inventory,” Pickering said. 

Addazu’s sale price for its demo unit is $30,000 to $35,000. Pickering estimates that Addazu will be able to produce 250 housing units a year, once fully operational.

Last week, Addazu hosted an event to unveil the demo unit for a group of approximately 50 potential clients and other interested folks in Golden. 

“We estimate that our 130-square-foot unit could be built in a day with a crew of five, so once foundations are set that thing could be stood up in a day and ready for occupancy,” Pickering said. 

Right now, Addazu has hired Douglass Colony as its contract manufacturer to build its panels. 

While Addazu’s demo unit is small, the company is in its design phase for 3,200-square-foot duplexes and 4,800-square-foot triplexes. For a 1,600-square-foot single-sided duplex, Pickering estimates the cost at approximately $315,000. 

“The pros are that we can get more units on the ground faster, and get these developments off the developers’ books quicker so that then it becomes more enticing,” Pickering said. 

Similar to Mayor Mike Johnston’s efforts to house individuals who need shelter in tiny homes throughout the city, Pickering also wants to help be a part of the solution by providing small dwellings in micro-communities. The small homes are intended to help people transition out of homelessness. 

Addazu’s goal has been to standardize its panels to six base panel components — including walls, flooring and roof trusses — and the company then designs a floor plan out of those six base components. 

“You design around those specific constraints, and what that allows us to do is really increase the manufacturing efficiencies,” Pickering said.

So far, Pickering has funded Addazu through angel investment, grants and personal funds, and he’s looking for more funding. He estimates that Addazu would need a 4,500-square-foot production space in the West Denver metro area for its early-stage production needs. Pickering also has a team of four other co-founders working with him on Addazu.  

“We believe that with approximately $1.2 million in investment, we will be able to become self-sustainable and deliver the product to the customers that we would need. And that would allow us to build up some inventory that we can replenish as orders come in,” Pickering said. 

Other modular housing developers in Colorado include Fading West, located in Buena Vista.

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