BRE-backed £150k temporary home arrives

The ‘Koda’ house has been launched in the UK, a 25m² sustainable modular structure that can be erected in a day.

Already in use across Holland and Estonia, KODA addresses the need for temporary housing on disused sites across the country, providing fast and economical homes.

An individual Koda house can be built for £150,000, including construction, planning costs, delivery, installation and connections to basic necessities like water, electricity and sewage.

The structure doesn’t need foundations, and can be moved on the back of a lorry, creating an effective solution for under-utilised land before it is permanently developed. Koda has been designed to allow stacking, with multi-storey modules scheduled for release in 2018.

This is not the first time modular micro-homes have been introduced to the UK, with companies such as ISO Spaces creating moveable and re-usable short-term accommodation in Ealing, London, using re-purposed shipping containers.

Estonian developer Kodasema however intends for its home to ‘shake up’ the UK property market, providing a multi-purpose self-build structure that the company believes can be used as a city centre home, a lakeside summer house, a cafe, an office, workshop, studio, or even a classroom.

Open plan living dominates the design, with a full-height quadruple-glazed window at the front, providing acoustic and thermal insulation, while filling the interiors with natural light. The bathroom and mezzanine bedroom are located at the back of the building, with a living and dining space and terrace at the front.

John O’Brien, associate director for Construction Innovation at the BRE, believes the “simple, yet effective” design could help “alleviate the pressures of the housing crisis,” supplying relatively cheap temporary homes.

He said:

“This trend of short-term use of derelict land, which can be left untouched for years, even during the planning stages, is becoming more common, especially in London.

“Koda would provide a cost-effective option to house those on the waiting list for affordable accommodation, or offer temporary rental apartments for young professionals, students, and those looking to downsize.

“On a wider point, it could also be the perfect housing solution for those that move regularly for their jobs, and require medium term tenancies in cities across the UK.

“You could pack your suitcase and move from Koda to Koda, and be in familiar environment in another town or city, with all the usual amenities.”

As part of the home’s energy efficiency, Koda features photovoltaic panels to generate energy and reduce its carbon footprint. Accompanying these are thin, vacuum-insulated concrete walls, keeping the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter, as well as providing noise insulation.

Koda homes come with smart home systems, including alarms, an entry system door lock, programmable mood lighting and climate control.

Installation does not require extensive digging or foundations, and so can take less than a working day to assemble on site, with materials able to be disassembled reused easily.

The house was initially unveiled last year, but the first Koda home has now been installed in the BRE’s Innovation Park in Watford, a research facility displaying full-scale prototype homes, demonstrating innovative approaches to low-carbon and energy-efficient housing.

Kodasema is a recent winner of WAN Urban Challenge 2017, a global ideas competition with a focus on London’s housing crisis.

The Koda house is due for release in 2018.