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Saturday, June 21, 2014

More On Modular Housing

   I have, on a number of occasions, written about how we could have inexpensive, comfortable, high tech housing any time, and anywhere if we were allowed.

   In particular I have written of container homes, built out of shipping containers (10' X 10' X 40') which are widely in use already. Here are some more pictures.

   These have the great advantage that they can be converted easily and thus cheaply and are already available.

   However the real necessity for off site modular housing is simply that it be road transportable to the site.

  So what can legally be road transported - a width of 10' (3m) of 60' (18m) and about 20' (6m) in height (though bridges limit the last).
            The book Why Construction Is So Backward by Woodhuysen et al contains a drawing of such a home. Being 20" tall means 2 floors. In fact I am sure it would be easy to do a fold up 3rd floor on top because it wouldn't be load bearing.

        18m X 3m by just 2 floors is a home of 108 m.

British families are living in some of the most cramped conditions in Europe with more than half of homes falling short of minimum modern space standards, new research has found.
The study found the UK has the smallest homes by floor space area of any European country with the average new build property covered just 76sq m compared with almost double that amount of 137sq m in Denmark.

More here

      3 floors would be 162 m or "module" means you can have 2 together, or as many more as you want.

      Incidentally with that much space, doubled to allow infrastructure and small gardens you get 9,260 per km, with 3 per family that is 28,000 per km. London is 8,382 km which would mean a population of 230 million. That is without multi-storey living like Keetwonen. That is not a population level I would ever aspire to but it does show that there is no sort of space limitation on this.
Keetwonen student apartments –
       One libertarian option is just to classify these as temporary structures, which they obviously are, and get all building regulators off them.

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The biggest brake on building affordable housing are the planning laws. These laws, it seems to me are anti libertarian in making the permission to build at the discretion of the political regime, regardless of whether you own the land or have the land owners cooperation. This power has had the effect of restricting supply and inflated the market value of existing property. In my opinion the would be powerful should have been restricted to ensuring safe building practices and resolving disputes over genuine injuries such as blocking access. The green belts they have instituted should have been purchased at the open market rate set for compulsory purchases and then turned into parks or nature reserves. It was and is dishonest to blight other people's opportunities for your own ideology
Even more libertarian would be simply requiring housebuilders to have insurance against building failure for 10/20/30 years and let the insurers do as much inspecting as they deem necessary.

That is what they do in that bastion of libertarianism - France. Which is why the flow of people seeking less regulated work in Britain is match by those seeking a less regulated house in France.

It would be easy for Scotland to beat both by lowering taxes and allowing this housing.
Totally agree. We need to change lots of rules, especially in the field of Architectural legislation. To many norms that don't work at all, but have to. I would recommend starting from changing the instructions for making the plans, I think it's kind of old ones, and it will be great to adopt it according to our modern realities and fast lives.
I absolutely agree with you! Modular houses are now becoming cutting-edge in architecture, innovating with great, bold designs, improved functions and impressive green building features.
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