The ecokit house has been originally designed with a traditional construction method in mind because it was originally planned to be only a one-off house. But with the growing positive feedback we decided to offer the house to others to see if there is an interest in a small, healthy and sustainable house. We also started to think how we could make the construction easier for people with no building experience?
Labour is a major part of every construction project and so building a house as an owner-builder can save you a lots of hard earned money.
But let’s face it – not everyone can imagine to tackle such a daunting task – well, not the ‘standard’ way. How could we replicate the system of pre-fab buildings, without actually pre-fabricating them in a factory?
So we have dived into extensive research and came up with a solution of smaller pre-fabricated blocks that anyone can put together, kinda like Lego ? We have been intrigued by a few interesting projects from around the globe that in the end influenced the ecokit house and its construction method.
How will it work?
All parts have been designed in a 3D program and will be digitally manufactured using tools such as CNC machines, using widely available materials such as OSB and plywood. They will be light enough to be handled without the need for crane and numbered so they can be easily identified on site.
The parts of the kit get delivered to your site, where they need to be organised around the site according to instructions and the portals are raised by hand. The parts are connected with screws that are also part of the kit, so only a screwdriver and basic DIY tools are needed. Depending on the size of the house, we are expecting a team of amateurs to be able to assemble the shell in 1-3 days. (this will get tested on the prototype we are planning and will be documented on video)
The system is designed to be easy and safe to assemble. The precision manufacturing of the shell and workshop controlled installation of the insulation makes it much easier to achieve very high levels of consistent insulation layer, resulting in a super low-energy envelope. A careful installation of the house wrap on the exterior and a precise use of insulating tape on the interior is necessary to achieve a full air tightness and to avoid any leaks or unwanted condensation inside the walls.
The system is modular, so parts are interchangeable. Almost any roofing or cladding material can be used. Doors & windows are custom manufactured as a part of the kit, to fit the modular nature of the house.
Within the rules of the system, the design can be customized, allowing every house to respond to its user, site & context. Because it is more of a system, rather than a one-off house, so within the rules of the system, almost any size & internal layout is possible.
At present the rules are:
- Maximum two levels high
- The internal width of the house is 6m (the length is not fixed)
- Doors & windows blocks can be positioned anywhere on the east/west side, but can only be 600mm (for windows) and 1200mm (for doors) wide
- A skylight can be added into the roof, but can only be 600mm wide
- The house must have a dedicated space for services which can be easily & safely installed and accessed for maintenance & alteration by the user during the life of the home
- The default position for plumbing for the kitchen and the bathroom is along the south wall – this can be modified but might increase the plumbing cost significantly so we recommend keeping kitchen and bathroom next to each other
We want you to have a little bit of fun
Lately drawing books are all the rage but how about getting the scissors out, printing the floor plan, cutting a few pieces of furniture and designing YOUR DREAM HOUSE!?
The floor plans work best printed on A3 sized paper and can be easily adjusted in size by removing or adding those 600mm blocks – but remember in the east/west direction only! The internal walls are not structural, so they can be positioned to your liking. Stairs can be moved but the final position will have to be approved by the engineer – for now you are free to move it vertically or remove it completely for a loftless version.
You are welcome to share your version with us, either via email or through our social media accounts. Have fun!