Off-grid Homes may Solve Australia’s Affordable Housing Woes

Modular HomeThe cost of housing has become a burden for many Australians as residential prices continue to rise in the country.

Even affordable homes have seemed to be the opposite since some people prefer renting a place to owning them. This, however, might change with the construction of the first flat-packed, off-grid house that only takes three days to assemble.

Alexander Symes created the Big World Homes idea for this particular kind of modular homes, calling them ‘Ikea on steroids’. The concept promises to narrow the gap between home rental and ownership, along with enabling almost anyone to build their own home.

Building Blocks

Symes’ brainchild simply involves reliving your childhood experience in playing with Lego blocks, only with much bigger and heavier materials. An off-grid home spans 13.75 square metres with the panels loaded onto a trailer for easier delivery.

The process of assembling the flat-pack homes requires the use of a hammer and a drill, plus some strength to lift the materials. Symes admitted that the most prominent issue in formulating the do-it-yourself construction technique involved the materials’ weight.

He wanted something light enough for a person to carry yet strong enough to protect against the elements and withstand usual structural damages.

Fully Furnished

Despite its relatively small size, the DIY homes already have space for a bed, living room and bathroom. Running water from inbuilt rainwater tanks is also fitted out on each house with solar power providing electricity.

The modular homes are sourced from plywood and polycarbonate plastic, making them a sustainable and more environment-friendly option. Symes recommends the construction of these houses in vacant lots, where people can build a community of pop-up homes.

Modular construction is not a new concept. Some companies have long been involved the business, particularly those that specialise in building rural and semi-rural homes.