Architecture

Ecoshelta prefab homes strive for sustainability from the ground up

Ecoshelta prefab homes strive ...
Ecoshelta Pods are constructed using a combination of eco-friendly timber, a composite panel roof and marine grade structural aluminum alloy
Ecoshelta Pods are constructed using a combination of eco-friendly timber, a composite panel roof and marine grade structural aluminum alloy
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Every step in the design process has been through a calculated evaluation of the potential environmental impact
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Every step in the design process has been through a calculated evaluation of the potential environmental impact
The Pods are usually assembled by a team from Ecoshelta or overseen by an Ecoshelta supervisor, but DIY is an option
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The Pods are usually assembled by a team from Ecoshelta or overseen by an Ecoshelta supervisor, but DIY is an option
Ecoshelta Pods are constructed using a combination of eco-friendly timber, a composite panel roof and marine grade structural aluminum alloy
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Ecoshelta Pods are constructed using a combination of eco-friendly timber, a composite panel roof and marine grade structural aluminum alloy
Ecoshelta Pod beach house installation
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Ecoshelta Pod beach house installation
As part of the overall design, careful consideration has been given to light and airflow
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As part of the overall design, careful consideration has been given to light and airflow
The Pods are usually assembled by a team from Ecoshelta or overseen by an Ecoshelta supervisor, but DIY is an option
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The Pods are usually assembled by a team from Ecoshelta or overseen by an Ecoshelta supervisor, but DIY is an option
As part of the overall design, careful consideration has been given to light and airflow
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As part of the overall design, careful consideration has been given to light and airflow
As part of the overall design, careful consideration has been given to light and airflow
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As part of the overall design, careful consideration has been given to light and airflow
Ecoshelta home in Canberra, Australia
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Ecoshelta home in Canberra, Australia
Australian Architect Stephen Sainsbury has spent decades researching materials to reduce environmental impact - the result is the Ecoshelta Pod
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Australian Architect Stephen Sainsbury has spent decades researching materials to reduce environmental impact - the result is the Ecoshelta Pod
This Pod was packed and shipped to Hong Kong for installation as a garden pavilion
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This Pod was packed and shipped to Hong Kong for installation as a garden pavilion
Everything can be custom selected from the various roof forms, different cuttings, linings, windows, doors, even down to the bathroom and kitchen details
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Everything can be custom selected from the various roof forms, different cuttings, linings, windows, doors, even down to the bathroom and kitchen details
The buildings were originally designed for installation in remote areas, with the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and conditions
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The buildings were originally designed for installation in remote areas, with the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and conditions
The buildings were originally designed for installation in remote areas, with the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and conditions
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The buildings were originally designed for installation in remote areas, with the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and conditions
Ecoshelta by night
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Ecoshelta by night
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Australian Architect Stephen Sainsbury has spent decades researching materials to reduce environmental impact. This has culminated in the development of the Ecoshelta prefabricated modular building system.

Based on an extensive evaluation of the environmental impact of building materials and other factors, the Ecoshelta Pods are constructed using a combination of eco-friendly timber, a composite panel roof, the latest wall and floor technologies and marine grade structural aluminum alloy.

Some mayconsider the choice of aluminum slightly controversial as it’s not the firstmaterial that springs to mind when considering a green alternative. However, Sainsbury’s20 year study found aluminum to be a highly durable, long-term productthat can be recycled repeatedly with minimal impact. It is also five times asstrong as steel and half the weight, with only a quarter of the materialneeded.

Thebuildings were originally designed for installation in remote areas, with theability to withstand extreme temperatures and conditions. The use of aluminum means that fire andcyclone rated buildings can be made directly from the material, without havingto add any other resources to it.

Ecoshelta home in Canberra, Australia
Ecoshelta home in Canberra, Australia

But it’snot just the raw materials that have undergone intense scrutiny. Every step inthe design process has been through a calculated evaluation of the potentialenvironmental impact. This includes a thorough examination of the mining andmanufacturing processes, transport and logistics, with consideration given to wherethe product is made, how far it has to travel and whether it will pollute theinternal or external environment.

The Ecoshelta Pods can also be transported anddelivered to any location, near and far. A recent commission saw Sainsbury and his team on a million acre stationin the Kimberley, installing an accommodation building in 130 degree heat,hundreds of miles from the main gate. Another Pod was packed and shipped to HongKong for installation as a garden pavilion.

This Pod was packed and shipped to Hong Kong for installation as a garden pavilion
This Pod was packed and shipped to Hong Kong for installation as a garden pavilion

The Podsare usually assembled by a team from Ecoshelta or overseen by an Ecosheltasupervisor but for those with a keen sense of determination, the assembly canbe managed as a DIY project. Each structure takesbetween one and five days to construct and needs at least four people toassemble.

A feature that makes the prospect of DIY more attractive is the innovative one-screw connection system. The average structure contains around 3000 screws, all alike, used to assemblethe entire building. Think of it as a sophisticated Ikea package, with apower-driven screw in place of the Allen key. Although as with Ikea assembly, skillsin the trades would be advantageous.

As part of the overall design, carefulconsideration has been given to light and airflow, natural ventilation, passive andactive solar design which can be used for heating, cooling, fans, lights andpowering a building.

The buildings were originally designed for installation in remote areas, with the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and conditions
The buildings were originally designed for installation in remote areas, with the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and conditions

The outcomeis an aesthetically pleasing and versatile building that can be customized toyour own taste. It’s almost like buying a car, selecting from half a dozenbasic designs and then tailoring it to meet your needs. Everything can be custom selected from thevarious roof forms, different cuttings, linings, windows, doors, even down tothe bathroom and kitchen details.

A basic modelcan cost around US$25,000 (AU$35,000), but most buyers spend anywhere from $38,500 to $54,000per Pod. For those wanting a larger home, a 1600 square foot house would be inthe region of $270,000.

ForSainsbury, the research continues. He is committed to the business ofsustainability and exploring cutting edge technologies to minimize environmentalimpact. For the environmentally aware, an Ecoshelta Pod would be the ideal wayto go green in style.

Source: Ecoshelta

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2 comments
IggyDalrymple
Since when is aluminum as strong as steel?
mdr
What kind of Aluminum is 5 times as strong as steel?!?