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Concrete Pipes Could House Tiny Homes

Monday, January 29, 2018

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Hong Kong studio James Law Cybertecture says it has developed an affordable housing alternative for those interested living in expensive cities with OPod Tube Housing, which transforms concrete water pipes into microhomes.

Microhousing

Each pipe roughly is eight feet wide, and can be converted into a 100- to 120-square-foot living space. The front door doubles as a window, and can be unlocked using a smartphone.

James Law, the founder of the Cybertecture studio, plans for the pipes to be rest on top of one another in vacant city locations across Hong Kong, creating an affordable housing solution for young people.

Law also said that he thought residents could live happily in the tubes for one to two years.

Home Design

While the OPods are still a concept, a prototype has been built. The microhome design provides space for living, cooking and bathing. The fully glazed front panel doubles as a door and a window, with additional natural lighting provided by lighting strips and a retractable lamp.

The interior is whitewashed and features a flat wooden floor. A bench seat can also function as a bed, and there is also room for a mini fridge and a microwave cooker. The rear section of the pipe is screened off to form a bathroom equipped with both a shower and toilet, and the walls are covered with white hexagonal tiles while the floor is covered in slatted boards for drainage.

Each tube should only cost around $15,350 to manufacture, and could be rented out for $383 a month.

Structures Within Structures

Given the homes' small size, they can be used to fill narrow gaps and can be stacked up to four high without any additional supports.

The homes can also be arranged in a horseshoe formation around access platforms.

Law is currently in negotiation with local government, working toward making the OPod pipes a reality. Overall, it took the firm one month to develop the idea, noted CNN.

"We need to live small in the city, because we can't afford the space—however, it doesn't mean that we have to live in a squalid, or inhuman environment like subdivided flats or cage homes,” Law said.

Law hopes that means-tested tenants will be selected. Two-thirds of their rent would be invested and returned with interest at the end of their tenure.

   

Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; concrete; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Good Technical Practice; Housing; Latin America; North America; Project Management; Residential Construction; Z-Continents

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