The open source information system WikiHouse have created the new WikiHouse 4.0 format that will allow its users to design, share and build their own flat pack house. The idea was unveiled at this year’s London Design Festival and is highly unique in the way that the concept can come to life within a matter of days.
Getting your home built
Costing in the area of £50,000, each project will be built by volunteers regardless if they have had any experience in the area of construction. The process of building the home has been compared to putting together a piece of furniture from Ikea as it is such a simple process.
After the design is complete it is essential to download the free online plan provided and once of this is completed then the wheels are really in motion. The plan will be sent off to a saw mill, where the numerous shaped components will be cut from a sheet material which in most circumstances is usually plywood, by a CNC (computer numerical control) machine. Once this process is complete, the needed kit will be delivered to the site of your choice.
How are they sustainable?
Sustainability is the man aim of the WikiHouse 4.0 format, and their concept of building sustainable homes is not only innovative, but it also makes energy efficient homes more accessible. The building will be made from the use of local materials, meaning that all pieces of the kit will not need to imported from afar.
There is no need to go outside the kit when putting your sustainable home together, with all pieces specifically made so that they will be able to easily slot together accompanied by the use of only a few bolts and screws. Not only is the structure lightweight, but it can also be packed up and moved for those who want to relocate.
The shape of the walls means that insulation can fill the natural cavity, and the home will run on a super low DC power voltage on basic Ethernet cables which means that all requirements for running phones and laptops are met whilst eliminating the need for adaptors. By using a low DC power voltage, this means that it would be very easy to run low energy LED lights. One of the most innovative ideas to maintain the sustainability of the homes is the plates that are created from crushed aluminium beer cans, which are used to create the outer walls of a ventilation unit.
The Formats potential
This new WikiHouse formatted is forecast to boom commercially and the company are also set to launch a project in the United Kingdom which will share a similar concept to the 4.0, but it should also include a garden structure that can be used as a shed, an outdoor office or even an art studio. The 4.0 format can also be deemed as a suitable solution to London’s current housing crisis, which WikiHouse want to take advantage of to springboard their product into national acclaim.
The biggest stumbling block in the way of the formats success is the unavailability or expense of land and it goes without saying that planning permission is needed before locating your very own flat pack home. Referring to location, the WikiHouse’s versatility means that there are a number of unique areas for the building to be situated, such as having a home set-up on top of another building for example.
The performance of the WikiHouse is to be monitored very closely by the whole of the UK’s housing industry as the need for sustainable homes increase. Due to its affordability it look as if the project shall make a huge impact on the housing industry, but it’s performance still has a lot to answer for before it can be considered a success.