By Sun Kim
Posting in Architecture
Developed by an MIT architecture graduate, the Pinwheel House meets the challenge of building affordable, sustainable shelters for highly populated rural areas of emerging and developing countries.
The first prototype to emerge from the 1K House studio at MIT is a modular home constructed in the Sichuan Province of China. The Pinwheel House features standardized construction and assembly to build basic, affordable housing in rural areas of developing countries.
The project was designed by Ying Chee Chui, a New York architect and 2011 graduate of MIT’s Department of Architecture. Originally designed to be constructed with solid earth block wall and bamboo, the prototype features an earthquake resistant structure made of reinforced brick walls and wooden box beams.
The 800 square foot Pinwheel House is made of four room modules around a central courtyard. The modules and the courtyard can be reorganized within a nine square grid to create different configurations and layouts.
Inspired by One Laptop Per Child, the program that brings low-cost computers to children, and the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, the 1K House project investigates the feasibility of building low-cost homes for a total construction cost of $1000. Because of changes in size and materials, the Pinwheel prototype was $5925, a bit over the target of $1000 but nonetheless a small fraction of the typical housing cost in the US.
The designs and research in the original 1K House studio were based on affordability, livability, and sustainability. The studio researched and developed design innovations that reduce wasteful construction practices while creating structures that met or exceeded basic requirements for safety, sanitation, and comfort.
The next iteration of the studio will investigate shelter solutions based in the recently damaged areas of Japan. The 1K House professors, Yung Ho Chang and Tony Ciochetti, want the studio to find quick housing solutions that provide decent living conditions following natural disasters. Creating design templates for inexpensive and simple houses would help countries quickly rebuild structures. The targeted construction cost of this fall's studio is $10,000.
Via: MIT News Office
Images: Ying Chee Chui
Sep 15, 2011
Another option for low cost housing with all factory made components and easily assembled in a few days http://kwickset.net/bungalows.html
Pardon, but where is a bath, kitchen and where would everything fit? Cheap housing is a need for the entire world, but while the idea here sounds nice, I think that most local laws would prevent it from ever being more than a dream except where there are few rules stating just how things have to be built.
Very good design.Traditionally mud houses have been built in many sunbelt countries. There is a saying,BRICK HOUSE,BANYAN TREE SHADE AND WELL WATER WILL BE COOLER IN SUMMER AND HOT IN WINTER. Here is an intereting story: RAJKOT: The state's first housing colony made purely of mud is coming up on the outskirts of Rajkot. Shital Patel (41), the man behind the project, is no builder but an organic farmer and Gandhian. Having lived in a traditional mud house for the last 13 years, Patel decided to build a 'mud house' residency after their bungalow became a local tourist attraction for nature lovers. The khadi-clad Patel is working full-time to create an 'eco-friendly' colony on an 87,000 square feet plot, 20 kilometres from Rajkot, towards Kalawad. The compound wall, too, has been built using mud. "Once the buyer purchases a bungalow plot, we will build a mud house according to his/her design and wish. But one thing is clear, no cement or concrete will be allowed in it, only mud, coconut wood and bamboo. We have a couple which makes traditional mud houses. The mud house has cross ventilation and no fans or lights are needed during day time," said Patel, who graduated from an agriculture college. The cost of the house ranges from Rs 3 to 4 lakh and the 2,700 sq ft bungalow plot is priced at Rs 12.6 lakh. A sample house has been built. It takes three to four months to make a mud house, which withstand an earthquake. Patel said 90 per cent of the material used in mud houses is local and need not be transported. Also, when you want to destroy it, it easily mixes with the earth and there is no problem of debris. Patel's family has been living in a mud house since 1998 in Kangashiyali village where his mother served as doctor in the T B hospital and owned a piece of agricultural land. "About 10 years ago, people were taking mud from a farm to make kilns, close to our old house in Kangashiyali village. We saw that they were destroying layers of mud and creating pollution which was unbearable. All this for creating bricks for housing. So, we thought we should find out an alternative for this and we built mud house in 1998. Over the years, visitors liked it and wanted to own a house like this. But no one knew how to build a mud house. That's how this project was born," Patel said. In mud houses, there will be organic garden in each house with drip irrigation for the fruit trees, a library and a meditation hall build from mud. Solar and wind energy, too, will be tapped. "My friends have cautioned me before going for this 'unusual' concept as I am not a realtor or architect. But I have experienced living in mud house and I wanted to share it with the people,'' he said(Source: Farmer making state's first mud house colony Vijaysinh Parmar, TNN Jun 14, 2011, 02.35pm IST The Times of India,Rajkot). Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India E-mail: email@example.com
I read something a couple of years ago, about a company that was converting used shipping containers into shelters. Apparently there are tens of thousands of the old containers stashed all over the world, are easy to ship etc etc etc.
Traditional housing building methods have always been unthinkably wasteful, time consuming, quality-compromised and costly. They don't need to be. Modular homes are still equated - specially here in the U.S. - with cheap, badly made mobile homes, but they *are* the answer. Some PR work has to be done to change that. If a company here can make standard, configurable modules that are pre-wired and plumbed, but make them from decent materials, and inside away from the elements and without the waste, it would go a long way toward raising perceptions. Why not standard 10' by 10' modules (or whatever size) that fit a plumbing/no-plumbing-need model with optional walls that could be conjoined to create a bigger space? I believe the widest width that can be transported on a truck is 14', and I think the longest is 70', maybe 80'. On one truck, you could deliver a few units at one time, and, per the customer's choice of layout, assemble them on-site. Modularize the whole thing, including the innards. Someone tell me why this hasn't been done, yet, with a commercial, high volume approach?
So because one man/movement used a symbol for evil for about 5 years, no one can ever use it for anything else, and we have to tiptoe around it from then on? The swastika was a powerful, respected, and ancient spiritual symbol with a good meaning (often good luck and other similar things) for at least 5,000 years (most likely longer) before Hitler came along. It was used in American political campaigns, put on toys and consumer products, it is on buildings all over the US, it is still used widely in Eastern countries where it doesn't have this stigma, etc. etc. etc. Yes, Hitler made it the banner for an evil movement, but it is not the swastika's fault. Time to let it go. This housing project is a great idea no matter how it looks.
I stayed in a converted shipping container last summer. It was divided into two apartments with separate doors. The apartment had a twin sized bed built into one wall and a small cabinet. The only window was in the door. It was reasonably comfortable for the week I was there. The unit was used as a bunk house for temp workers. I have seen other container based homes and a few of them do not look like containers at all. By assembling several containers it is possible to have a modest but livable home. You can get a better idea by searching the web for container homes.
That works for very simple shelters which are certainly better than nothing, but no exactly what the average person would want to live in.
Probably trucks could not get there. Probably the best delivery would be by helicopter, donkey, or foot. Disasters disrupt things like roads, airports etc. There are also places that do not have roads and airports. I do like the idea a lot, but would like it to be broken into "wall" sections that could be joined on site.
The problem is many different standards for local construction. Most were put in place to protect local union workers jobs. This is why you have "mobile" homes which really are not. Since they are on wheels they are subject to STATE law rather than local law which applies to "permanent" structures. In order to have a high volume approach you need flexibility to reflect the demands of the various locales that the assembly will occur in. You also need to be able to bypass the various "rights" groups that are looking for a way to get money for "their" people. Prefab homes are not new. I remember Thomas Edison created/patented the concept of a poured concrete house. It was a massive failure, and that was before the days on indoor plumbing and the like. Various companies have tried having homes you could put together like Lego blocks.. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.01/home1.html Details home modules built in a factory designed to be later assembled. In order for this stuff to work you will need to be able to bypass corrupt local controls while still adhering to reasonable regulations that reflect local conditions like earthquakes and weather (floods, snow, twisters, etc).
This would, then, have to come from the national level, first. But, it is likely we'd have the same old problem: Each state, then each locality, then each special interest. Maybe the first thing to change is how we're wired. Seems to be a human nature problem. Ironic, no?
I have a hard time believing you said that and are reading things from this site. Things can and do change if we keep pushing that old stone up the hill. Try reading any news source from 5 years ago.