There's little doubt that the neatly packaged nature of a certain Swedish furniture-maker's products are a big reason for its success, and lately we're seeing how flatpack kits can have a certain appeal for those looking into alternative housing solutions. Here are five of our favorites.
Whether it's the convenience of a fast, pop-up style construction, the ability to transport complete housing kits to remote locations, or the relatively low cost, prefabricated flatpack homes are emerging as an increasingly popular option for house-hunters around the globe.
Sometimes elegant, often energy efficient and always comparably simple to build, these small-footprint dwellings are seen as cute Airbnb-style add-ons to some and legitimate solutions to housing crises by others. Whatever the purpose, there's something about the constraints of their construction that produces often ingenious homes with a certain simplistic charm. Below are five that we think are particularly easy on the eye.
Cubicco's hurricane-resistant homes
Flordia's Cubicco offers a range of expandable flatpack homes, ranging from small micro-shelters to complete homes with a couple of bedrooms, office and kitchen. Built from sustainably sourced wood, vertical gardens, green roofs and rooftop solar are available as add-ons, as are rainwater harvesting systems and batteries for off-grid living. One thing all have in common, however, is an ability to withstand hurricane-level wind speeds of up to 180 mph (290 km/h). Prices start at US$58,500 for a basic self-build unit.
Britespace, by Avava Systems
Also available in various configurations, the flatpack Britespace home is built to operate on- or off-grid with options for rainwater harvesting, rooftop solar and battery storage. It takes around six weeks to assemble, with the pictured stucco and weather-resistant hardwood siding among the options for the facade. The interior is finished in a tasteful mix of high-end materials, such as solid bamboo, maple cabinetry and oak flooring. Prices start at $90,000, not including installation.
M.A.Di House, by Renato Vidal
Italian architect Renato Vidal created this home from cross laminated timber and did so in a way that enables flatpack modules to be shipped out and folded open on site, forming a complete, two-level house in less than a day. The unfolded home has a height of 6.5 m (21.3 ft) and can be extended lengthways simply by adding more modules. The finishings, such as flooring and interior walls, come on mounting boards and can also be installed on the same day, with the entire structure designed to endure earthquakes. Pricing for a M.A.Di House starts at around €800 (US$933) per square meter.
Plús Hús, by Minarc
This 320-sq ft (30-sq m) flatpack home can be assembled in a few days once it arrives at a properly prepared site, with all finishings cut to size to keep on-site waste, costs and construction time to a minimum. The mnmMOD panels that replace traditional timber framing are made from recycled materials and have high insulation values, with maker Minarc claiming the Plús Hús is 40 percent more energy efficient than traditional homes.
Inspired by the current housing shortage in California, the Plús Hús is available in three sizes, ranging from a basic module to the full Plús Hús unit complete with bathroom, kitchen, and all plumbing, appliances and cabinetry. Prices range from $37,000 to $49,000.
Built to Passivhaus standards, the gold standard for energy efficiency, the Kiss House uses cross laminated timber as its primary material, which is fast gaining recognition as a sustainable alternative for construction. It is available in three difference sizes, ranging from a two-bedroom option to a four-bedroom home with a 85.8-sq m (923.5-sq ft) footprint.
It arrives as stacks of panels prefabricated off site that can be assembled on a prepared concrete slab in three to four days. These flatpacks can be carried by road or sea to anywhere in the world and form configurable dwellings to suit each clients needs. As a guide, pricing starts at approximately £2,000 (around US$2,550) per square meter.
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