A solution born of the affordable housing crisis
U.S. cities aren’t the only ones with an affordable housing crisis. Take Australia, whose major metros are routinely some of the most unaffordable in the world and where a growing number of young people are renting and living longer with parents.
Just as how skyrocketing housing costs have fueled interest in alternative dwellings like tiny houses and prefabs stateside, they’ve also inspired designers Down Under to find new solutions through architecture. One such idea currently under development is Ecokit, an energy-efficient prefab kit house that can be built by two people in a few weeks.
Three years in the making, the Ecokit house is a modular, flat-packed design built from thermal-insulated panels and eco-friendly materials. The exterior looks something like a small, modern barn with a gabled roof, slanted side walls, covered deck, and solar roof system that the company claims can generate both electricity and hot water. Renderings for the interior show an open-plan living and dining area, with a bedroom on the ground level and another in the mezzanine.
One thing that sets this prefab upstart apart from others we’ve seen is that it offers a true kit house—the customer, not ecokit, will be responsible for figuring out construction, whether that means DIY-ing it or hiring a professional.
Detailed price estimates for the Ecokit home are not yet available, but the website says that an airtight and watertight model sans any finishes will be under $100,000. Ecokit is currently building out two prototype cabins and fundraising on Indiegogo to complete construction documentation and certifications needed to bring the kit to market. Curiously enough, donations in the $200 to $250 range can buy you a pet version of the Ecokit, available only as a perk through the campaign.