Modular hanging suites are built to drop into any setting

August 21, 2020 by  
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Located in the tourist-friendly Spanish village of Santa Maria de Palautordera, the Drop Box N-240 is a transportable, modular suite that is ready to “drop” into practically any location via crane. The models, designed by In-Tenta, are manufactured offsite, transported and quickly assembled. Along with wood as a renewable and sustainable building material for the frame, suites come with either natural wood cladding or composite panels made of cement and wood particles as exterior finish. The hotel property provides views of the Montseny Massif mountain range in Montseny Natural Park, included in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. This park is located in the Catalan pre-coastal mountain range, 25 kilometers from the stunning Mediterranean Sea and 50 kilometers from bustling Barcelona. Related: This prefab treehouse can be assembled in merely a few days In a project designed to increase in size without interfering with the natural environment, the prefab suite is suspended in the middle of the forest with a panoramic view over the trees. The floor plan includes a living room, a fully equipped bathroom and a platform with space for a queen-sized bed. The pod-like suite and attached terrace is installed like a treehouse , elevated over a metal structure to adhere to the sloped terrain while minimizing impact upon the site. The entire layout is designed for minimal occupation of land, giving the rooms a small, yet comfortable, ambiance. The cement-wood combination panels are low-maintenance, non-toxic, impermeable to water and aren’t susceptible to damage from living organisms. There are also several colors to choose from to customize the suite. The design company can also customize the floor plan depending on a client’s needs. In the case of the Santa Maria de Palautordera property, the entrance door is made of the same cement and wood mixture that makes up the rest of the facade, rather than the default transparent glass. The standard Drop Box N-240 layout includes a kitchen and a shower, but this particular suite ditched the kitchen and swapped a shower for a bathtub to save space. + In-Tenta Photography by estudibasic via In-Tenta

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Modular hanging suites are built to drop into any setting

Modular, affordable housing project opens in Portland

July 8, 2020 by  
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Argyle Gardens, a newly-opened modular co-housing development, is providing affordable housing for individuals who formerly experienced homelessness and are greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Portland, Oregon. Opened at the beginning of April 2020, the project houses 72 residents in studio and SRO-style units. Because of the offsite modular construction, development costs for the units were 31% lower than typical affordable housing projects and the construction schedule was shortened by four months. Argyle Gardens is located in the Kenton area of north Portland and features a modular design brought to the area by Transition Projects specifically to address the current times of hardship for those who need the most support. Related: Passive House-certified development offers affordable housing in South Bronx There are four buildings in total, the largest of which contains 36 apartments. The buildings are positioned around a large, central community space that includes laundry facilities and support service offices. In addition to the main apartment building, there are three co-housing structures, which each contain two six-bedroom pods, two shared bathrooms and a kitchen. Argyle Gardens is near the light rail, a public park, bus lines and the downtown and commercial shopping areas. By June 1, over half of the units have already been filled by low-income residents and people who formerly experienced homelessness. Going a step further, community-building programming and supportive services have already been implemented on the property. Residential activities such as a gardening club and cooking demonstrations have started as well. The project was designed by Portland firm Holst Architecture and features gable roof trusses and translucent polycarbonate panels. The modules can adapt to any area that allows duplexes while still working within the existing zoning codes for Portland. Despite the site’s steep and vegetated topography, the design team accomplished balance in the environmental considerations required for modular construction. The high-efficiency housing model can be replicated and modified by other modular builders around the country. + Holst Architecture Photography by Josh Partee and Portlandrone via Holst Architecture

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Modular, affordable housing project opens in Portland

Victory at Standing Rock as Dakota Access pipeline shut down

July 8, 2020 by  
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The Standing Rock Sioux tribe won a reprieve after the Monday decision by a U.S. District Court judge to suspend the Dakota Access pipeline pending further environmental review. The highly controversial  pipeline  has operated for three years. Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered both sides to submit briefs on whether the pipeline should continue operations. In March, Boasberg ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it permitted the pipeline and failed to acknowledge the devastating consequences of potential oil spills in the area. Related: Dakota Access Pipeline placed under environmental review The 1,172-mile pipeline transports oil underground from North Dakota to Illinois, passing through South Dakota and Iowa on its way. Standing Rock Reservation straddles the Dakotas’ state line and draws its water from the Missouri River. The tribe alleges the pipeline, which crosses beneath the river, pollutes their water . Energy Transfer, a Texas-based gas and oil company that owns the biggest share in the project, disagrees and claims the pipeline is safe. The $3.8 billion pipeline brought trouble from the start. During its construction in 2016-2017, tribal members began a protest campaign that drew international support. Activists from around the country stood with Standing Rock. Some clashes at the site grew violent, with police and security officers using attack dogs, water cannons and military equipment to clear protesters and their encampments. Political action persisted, with David Archambault II, then-Chairman for Standing Rock , addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva in September 2016. Senator and former Democratic presidential nominee Bernie Sanders also supported the protests, and then-President Barack Obama spoke with tribal leaders.  In December 2016, before leaving office, the Obama administration ordered a full environmental review of the project, including analysis of the tribe’s treaty rights, and denied permits allowing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River. President Donald  Trump  signed an executive order expediting construction during his first week in office. But for now, the tribal  water  supply is safe. “Today is a historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many people who have supported us in the fight against the pipeline,” Mike Faith, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman, said in a statement. “This pipeline should have never been built here. We told them that from the beginning.” + The Guardian Via Earth Justice Images via Indrid Cold , Fibonacci Blue and John Duffy

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Victory at Standing Rock as Dakota Access pipeline shut down

Heimplanet celebrates 9 years of innovative inflatable tents

June 5, 2020 by  
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For almost a decade, Heimplanet has offered adventure-seekers an option for quick and easy tent set up in a variety of environments. The company first released a line of inflatable tents in 2011; now, with summer 2020 approaching, Heimplanet is reminding  outdoor  enthusiasts that there has never been a better time to go camping. Founders Stefan Clauss and Stefan Schulze Dieckhoff got the idea for the inflatable tents while on a trip to Portugal in 2003. Traveling along the coast to surf, the two often found themselves setting up their  camp  late at night and experiencing the inconveniences of conventional tents, such as fussing with poles in the dark and the rain. Related: The North Face unveils a geodesic tent that can withstand 60 mph winds The company offers four regular tent models that sleep one to six people and are built to tolerate 80 mph winds. The four models include Fistral, The Cave, Backdoor and Nias. Those seeking a  tent  developed for more extreme use can also splurge for the Maverick, which features room for up to 10 people and the capacity to handle wind speeds up to roughly 111 mph. The inflatable tents incorporate an “Inflatable Diamond Grid” consisting of an inflatable,  modular  cage-like structure that works as a geodesic dome and says goodbye to traditional tent poles. This design allows for high stability even in volatile weather conditions — the company’s Maverick model has even protected researchers and equipment in Antarctica. Thanks to the patented multi-chamber system, the tent’s entire frame is inflated and divided into separate chambers with one easy step that takes under one minute. This multi-chamber system gives the tent its stability, while also ensuring that if one air chamber is damaged the other chambers will keep the rest of the tent erect. Separate chambers can also be replaced or repaired individually, prolonging the life of the whole structure. Resistant double-layer construction combining an airtight thermoplastic polyurethane bladder on the inside and strong polyester fabric on the outside keeps the tent  insulated  and protected. Heimplanet is also part of the 1% For the Planet community, pledging 1% of sales to environmental preservation and restoration. The company has also recently implemented a “re-store” program that  restores  and repairs used models. + Heimplanet Images via Heimplanet, Luca Jaenichen, Sondre Forsell, Kevin Ellison, and Thibault Bevilacqua

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Heimplanet celebrates 9 years of innovative inflatable tents

Heimplanet celebrates 9 years of innovative inflatable tents

June 5, 2020 by  
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For almost a decade, Heimplanet has offered adventure-seekers an option for quick and easy tent set up in a variety of environments. The company first released a line of inflatable tents in 2011; now, with summer 2020 approaching, Heimplanet is reminding  outdoor  enthusiasts that there has never been a better time to go camping. Founders Stefan Clauss and Stefan Schulze Dieckhoff got the idea for the inflatable tents while on a trip to Portugal in 2003. Traveling along the coast to surf, the two often found themselves setting up their  camp  late at night and experiencing the inconveniences of conventional tents, such as fussing with poles in the dark and the rain. Related: The North Face unveils a geodesic tent that can withstand 60 mph winds The company offers four regular tent models that sleep one to six people and are built to tolerate 80 mph winds. The four models include Fistral, The Cave, Backdoor and Nias. Those seeking a  tent  developed for more extreme use can also splurge for the Maverick, which features room for up to 10 people and the capacity to handle wind speeds up to roughly 111 mph. The inflatable tents incorporate an “Inflatable Diamond Grid” consisting of an inflatable,  modular  cage-like structure that works as a geodesic dome and says goodbye to traditional tent poles. This design allows for high stability even in volatile weather conditions — the company’s Maverick model has even protected researchers and equipment in Antarctica. Thanks to the patented multi-chamber system, the tent’s entire frame is inflated and divided into separate chambers with one easy step that takes under one minute. This multi-chamber system gives the tent its stability, while also ensuring that if one air chamber is damaged the other chambers will keep the rest of the tent erect. Separate chambers can also be replaced or repaired individually, prolonging the life of the whole structure. Resistant double-layer construction combining an airtight thermoplastic polyurethane bladder on the inside and strong polyester fabric on the outside keeps the tent  insulated  and protected. Heimplanet is also part of the 1% For the Planet community, pledging 1% of sales to environmental preservation and restoration. The company has also recently implemented a “re-store” program that  restores  and repairs used models. + Heimplanet Images via Heimplanet, Luca Jaenichen, Sondre Forsell, Kevin Ellison, and Thibault Bevilacqua

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Heimplanet celebrates 9 years of innovative inflatable tents

BIG completes low-income Homes for All project in Copenhagen

October 22, 2018 by  
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Beautiful yet affordable design-led apartments have been quickly completed in the northwest part of Copenhagen thanks to the power of prefabrication . Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group as part of the non-profit affordable housing association Lejerbo’s “Homes for All” mission, the Dortheavej Residence is a 6,800-square-meter curved building with 66 new homes for low-income clients. Clad in long wooden planks and stacked to create an attractive checkered pattern, the apartment modules feature soaring 3.5-meter ceilings and full-height glazing to let in plenty of natural light. Completed on a strict affordable housing budget of $9.8 million, the five-story Dortheavej Residence consists of apartments that range in size from 60 to 115 square meters. To keep costs low, a simple materials palette of concrete and wood was used. Since the new building is located in one of the city’s most diverse, low-income neighborhoods, the architects wanted to stress transparency and community. The full-height glazing, balconies and public spaces help achieve those goals. “Affordable housing is an architectural challenge due to the necessary budget restrictions,” said Bjarke Ingels, founding partner at BIG. “We have attempted to mobilize modular construction with modest materials to create generous living spaces at the urban as well as the residential scale. The prefabricated elements are stacked in a way that allows every second module an extra meter of room height, making the kitchen-living areas unusually spacious. By gently adjusting the modules , the living areas open more toward the courtyard while curving the linear block away from the street to expand the sidewalk into a public square. Economical constraints often lead to scarcity — at Dortheavej, we have managed to create added value for the individual as well as the community.” Related: Peek inside the BIG-designed garden village for one of the world’s best restaurants The curve of the building frames a street-facing public plaza on the south side that will be landscaped with cherry trees and bicycle parking spaces, while an enclosed green courtyard for recreational activities is located on the northern end. + Bjarke Ingels Group Images by Rasmus Hjortshoj

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BIG completes low-income Homes for All project in Copenhagen

Largest-ever modular Gomos building to be completed in just a few months

August 17, 2017 by  
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The future of construction looks to be pretty exciting, thanks to modular systems like Gomos Housing, which let you build adjustable structures in a matter of days. We first reported on the fabulous prefab system last year , and now the company just broke ground on its latest project, a large, multi-unit complex built in Portugal’s Vale de Cambra that will take just a few months to build, and can be adjusted in the future based on changing needs. The project aims to be a model of how communities can build affordable, quality housing quickly and efficiently without sacrificing on design. The Gomos modular system is the brain child of Portuguese architect Samuel Gonçalves of SUMMARY Architecture . Inspired by concrete drainage pipes, the system includes segments of concrete that can be configured in various shapes and volumes. Although modular constructions are nothing new, Goncalves’ particular system can be assembled in just three days, making it a perfect solution for urban design plans or even emergency housing . Related: Modular Gomos homes can be assembled in three days flat Although the appearance has been refined for the company’s biggest project to date, the system still provides a feasible housing solution that is economical, resilient and sustainable . Located just outside of Porto, in Vale de Cambra, the multi-house project is being built for a client on a tight schedule who was looking for a fast, cost-effective building that could also be changeable over time. Gomos’ prefabricated elements and modular system fit the bill and construction recently began on the 1,000-square-meter project. The two-story building will include housing units on the upper floor and multi-use spaces on the ground level. The building is comprised of prefabricated slabs and structural panels that support the two levels. The Gomos System modules were used to built out the top floor, a series of single units with individual entrances. The modular housing system , made out of concrete, also provides an acoustic protection between the individual units. The bottom floor space was created to be flexible thanks to removable panels with inner rails that allow for distribution of water and electricity systems. Thanks to these panels, the space can be made larger by removing compartments, or separated into individual rooms. This flexibility is not only convenient for future tenants, but increases the building’s overall value. Construction on the project broke ground recently and is slated to take just a few months to complete. + Gomos Housing Images via Gomos Housing System  

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Largest-ever modular Gomos building to be completed in just a few months

Tiny futuristic plastic homes in France look like they’re from Mars

August 1, 2017 by  
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The tiny house movement is on the rise today, but architects have been crafting tiny mobile homes long before the trend was given a name. In a throwback to the retro tiny houses of the 1960s and early ‘70s, the sculpture park Friche de l’Escalette curated Utopie Plastic, an exhibition of stunning and sci fi-esque homes made of molded colorful plastics. Set against a stark post-industrial landscape south of Marseille, these prefabricated buildings set the groundwork for futuristic transportable homes from the UFO-like Futuro House to the “Bubble House” Bulle homes. Plastics revolutionized design, particularly in the 1960s and ‘70s when designers explored new possibilities offered by injection-molded plastics. Until the 1973 oil crisis pulled the brakes on the plastics boom, architects also took advantage of the malleability of plastics to craft modular housing with unusual shapes in bright, eye-catching colors. The season-long Utopie Plastic exhibition celebrates these organically shaped homes of a bygone era in an open-air gallery where visitors can sit and dine among the prefabricated structures. Perhaps the exhibition’s biggest draw is the Futuro House , a UFO-shaped house designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, of which fewer than 100 were built during the ‘60s and ‘70s. The prefabricated home is elevated on steel legs and accessible via a folding staircase and hatch door. Two versions of Jean-Benjamin Maneval’s Bulle a Six Coques (“Bubble House”) are on display as well, one with its original interior fit-out and the other as an empty shell. Related: UFO-shaped Futuro prefab pod lands in London The low-lying orange boxy house is the Hexacube, designed by Georges Candilis as a mobile holiday home . Other futuristic and unusually shaped plastic furnishings, from Maurice Calka’s Boomerang Desk to Wendell Castle’s Baby Molar Chair, dot the landscape with bright pops of colors. The Utopie Plastic exhibition is on view by appointment from July 1 to October 1, 2017. + Friche de l’Escalette Via Architectural Digest Images via Galerie 54

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Tiny futuristic plastic homes in France look like they’re from Mars

Solar-powered prefab homes for struggling millennials can be set up in a day

July 19, 2017 by  
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An increasing number of people in the United Kingdom make too much money to qualify for social housing, but struggle to afford high rent prices. Prefabricated homes manufactured at the Legal & General Leeds factory could meet housing needs for that group, largely millennials, and the first houses from the factory recently popped up in the London area. Called LaunchPod , the 280-square-foot homes were ordered by housing association RHP , and designed by architecture firm Wimshurst Pelleriti . They’ll be available to rent for less than the average cost of a nearby one-bedroom apartment. Legal & General is an insurance company which is now churning homes out of a new factory – at a rate of 3,500 flats and houses a year. Their modular homes arrive at a location nearly finished and can be set up in one day. The homes are energy efficient, made out of cross laminated timber (CLT), and can be built to Passivhaus standards. A kitchen, curtains, fitted carpet, bathroom, and even furniture can be part of the home arriving on site. Legal & General says they can manufacture homes from detached houses to apartments 20 stories high. Related: Six factories will supply the UK with 25,000 prefab houses every year RHP nabbed the first houses out of the factory for a site in Richmond, a town southwest of London. A LaunchPod makes creative use of space to sneak in features that would more commonly be found in a larger flat, according to Wimshurst Pelleriti. But they said RHP didn’t want to resort to space-saving gimmicks like fold-down beds. Instead, features like raised mezzanine beds hide storage beneath, and the height of the homes, which are taller than normal, make them feel spacious. A LaunchPod is equipped with a luxury kitchen and lounge, bedroom, bathroom, and veranda. They have underfloor heating and are solar-powered , so residents will only pay around $13 a year in electricity. Neither Legal & General nor RHP would say how much the units cost, according to The Guardian. But RHP did say the price is around 15 percent less than the £2,600 to £3,000 per square meter cost common to conventional homes in the area, suggesting a LaunchPod could cost around £60,000 to £70,000, or around $78,155 to $91,182. But these particular modular homes will be rented, and as opposed to the typical rent of a one-bedroom flat in the area, which is a little over $1,300, the LaunchPods will be rented for between $782 and $912 a month. + Wimshurst Pelleriti + RHP + Legal & General Via The Guardian Images via Andrew Holt/Wimshurst Pelleriti

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Solar-powered prefab homes for struggling millennials can be set up in a day

Plugin Tower is a new low-cost modular home with no foundation

December 7, 2016 by  
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Plugin Tower is a modular multi-story home in Shenzhen, China that circumvents strict planning approval for permanent structures by eliminating the need for foundations. Chinese multidisciplinary studio People’s Architecture Office (PAO) , known for their temporary architectural solutions, conceived the design as a low-cost alternative to current housing solutions that can be easily packed up and moved. Requiring no underground foundations, the design circumvents planning approvals and provides utmost flexibility to home-owners. Thanks to its modular nature, the house can also be expanded to include more units, which can be easily inserted into the three-dimensional steel frame . This also allows for endless variations in design and configuration. Related: Tricycle House and Garden Offer Off-Grid Living for China’s Landless The firm used their proprietary Plugin Panel system of modules , which incorporate insulation, wiring, plumbing, interior and exterior finishes. The prefabricated panels are attached with integrated locks and easily installed by a couple of unskilled workers using only a hex wrench. + People’s Architecture Office (PAO) Via Archdaily Photos by Hannah Wu / People’s Architecture Office

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