A Geelong start-up challenging traditional home construction methods with its off-site, eco-friendly construction kits is being confronted by a natural wariness in the market to its innovative approach.
Ecokit recently completed building its second prototype dwelling using its approach to designing and constructing prefabricated, modular, energy-efficient homes with minimal environmental impact.
Founder Camilla Novotna said the company had generated a great deal of interest around the country and overseas but the key now was to gather more evidence of its ability to deliver.
“It is difficult, people need proof that we can build something,” Ms Novotna said. “That’s not going to happen without us being able to do another project”.
Digitally designed as a 3D model, the parts of Ecokit houses are cut on a computer numerical control machine and transported to site as a flatpack in a shipping container.
They can be shipped anywhere, although different jurisdictions have different building codes to consider.
“We are actively looking for a client in New Zealand,” Ms Novotna said. “We had quite a lot of interest in the US, however (with different state codes) it is really complicated. Based at ManuFutures at Deakin University, Ecokit also went through the Runway Geelong business accelerator program.
Ms Novotna said the company continued to refine its product and processes and was now working on Ecokit 2.0.
Studio kit prices start at about $100.000, not including interior finishes or additional installation costs, but Ms Novotna said the system was fully configurable so people could design what they wanted and go as big as they liked.
“Ecokit will arrive in a container in the form of parts on pallets, from which you can construct a habitable unit with your own hands with a little effort in a short period of time,” she said.
“The final completion date depends on your aesthetic and energy demands.”
“The assembly of our prototype two-bedroom home lasted seven days.”