Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Will Belguim's Skilpod Modular Home Ever Come to the US?

Today's proliferation of niche housing types includes dwellings that are tiny, modular, prefabricated and inexpensive. Belgian firm Skilpod is producing homes that are all of these things. With the right equipment, they can even be zero energy or energy positive.


 



Skilpod homes are suitable for singles and older people for whom traditional houses may be too ... It's possible for a customer to buy a single Skilpod module and then attach extra modules ... Skilpod homes are suitable for young people as they are inexpensive and expandable Skilpod homes are designed to be transported to site via trucks.

Designed in partnership with UAU Collective, the homes can be suitable for singles and older people for whom traditional houses may be too big. 

Specifically, Skilpod's most recent model, 517 sq ft home, was created with these people in mind and to be provided through social housing organizations in Belgium.


Skilpod says it is conducting research with the Flemish government into the feasibility of putting its homes into people's gardens as a means of housing elderly parents. The firm sees this as a potential alternative to traditional care homes.

The homes are also suitable for young people as they are inexpensive and expandable. It's possible for a customer to buy a single Skilpod module and then attach extra modules when needed or when they have the money.

The Skilpod homes are built in a factory in the Belgian city of Geel. They are made from cross laminated timber and are designed to be transported to site via trucks.

The materials used and design of the homes are said to make them highly energy efficient and Skilpod says that they can be zero energy (or even better) with the use of solar panels. Among the other features that contribute to the sustainability of the homes are heat pumps, ventilation systems with heat recuperation, automatic sunscreens and other home automation systems.

Skilpod's first home is currently in production and is expected to be completed before the end of this year. Prices start at $67,200.


Now if only a US modular home factory would build this kind of home and if the local and state codes would allow it, this could be a game changer. Backyards, on lots or stacked. These look great.

1 comment:

Laszlo Kiss said...

I think the key statement in the article is "Now if only US modular factories ... " because it's true.

Believe me I have tried to do the same thing in the US and it's not possible. There is no factory set up to deal with any of the details inherent in the Skilpod and I am not referring to the cross laminated lumber system (wouldn't that be nice to have). To make a house look like the Skilpod you need to do all the work on site which defeats the whole point of modular factory construction.

Please keep posting articles which show how advanced the rest of the world is and how we are lagging behind. I challenge any northeast factory to produce a similar module at those prices ( I can't even get a barebones half finished modern house out of the factory for that price). I will be first inline to use them.

I am not going to hold my breath for a reply thought.