The House Kit: A Fast, Inexpensive and Durable Construction

A personalized house, design, respectful of the environment, installed in a few days, for a reasonable cost. It’s possible! The kit houses meet these criteria. French manufacturers have embarked on their production.

P.A.T.H de Philippe Stark
P.A.T.H de Philippe Stark (Credit : Baptiste Lanne)

Speed, mobility, sustainability. So many concepts that have become central in the lifestyles of the 21st century. Like all areas, that of construction had to adapt. Thanks to technological developments, new methods have been developed to build faster, cheaper and more eco-responsible. The houses in kit combine all these criteria: the different modules are prefabricated in the factory and assembled on the site, like a giant building game. The duration of the work is thus considerably reduced, for some buildings only a few days.

It is the architect Jean proven who inspired the house builders in kit. Between the years 1940 and 1960, he developed prefabricated products by observing the production process in the automotive industry chain, in order to offer a product accessible to all. The materials being defined in advance, the buyer knows the exact price of the house. It is also a mode of production that greatly reduces the number of waste generated. A large part of the houses in kit are without definitive anchorage on the ground, which makes it possible to have less impact on the environment.

Prefabricated houses certainly, but very design and comfortable. The number of builders who embark on the design of kit houses in the hexagon increases. The architect Philippe Starck developed the concept of the Maison P.A.T. H (Prefabricated accessible technological homes). Modular and ecological, this House is sold turnkey and delivered 6 months after its order. The architect proposes 34 models of houses with different choice of roofs, facades or even arrangement. The square meter costs the buyer between 2,500 and 4,500 euros.

For about a year, the company Novablock sells rectangular design houses of two different sizes: the “mini-block” (17 m2) and the “maxi-block” (37 m2). These blocks can be assembled together to build a custom home.

Made in France and customable, these houses have a very low energy consumption. They do not have ground anchors and can be moved and adapted to any type of terrain. These maisonettes are wood-framed and insulated with wood wool. The siding can be made of burnt wood, thanks to the Shou Sugi Ban technique, requiring less maintenance and more resistant than traditional siding.

Pop-up house
In Aix-en-Provence, the start-up Pop-up house, which we were talking about in the article “Two French invent the House zero Energy, recyclable and mountable in 15 days” sells a dozen models of passive houses in kit. It will be necessary to pay between 1 500 and 2 100 euros per square metre for a turnkey housing, and between 900 and 1 000 euros for a building out of water out of air.

The kit house is in its beginnings in France, unlike in the United States and Canada where this type of construction is already well established. It should grow more and more, especially given the growing appeal for auto construction, mobility and passive buildings.

Feature of The House Kit: A Fast, Inexpensive and Durable Construction

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