Start with an affordable modular kit.
We are offering modular homes like the 1400 sq ft 2 bedroom/2 bath home below. Sizes start at 250 sq ft cabins and prices start at $55 per square foot.
There are many aspects to the words and ideas of Sustainable, Ecological, Affordable housing, that we are trying to attain. We think its important to specify our goals here. We are trying to make a product that blends modern and ancient technologies where applicable, to make a product that is understood and accepted by the consumer market.
Sustainable, Ecological, and Affordable: these words stand for housing that will be around a hundred years from now, adaptable to alternative energy sources, will provide reliable plumbing systems that are accessible and easy to maintain. Roofing systems that will create a more quiet ambiance, as well as lower energy consumption and increase comfort. Natural lighting to reduce energy consumption and make home an enjoyable place to be.
It means using materials that are locally manufactured when possible to reduce the embodied energy of transportation. Using materials that have low embodied energy in their manufacture and transportation. When possible are less toxic to the environment. Controlling construction waste utilizing intelligent design. With bamboo we use a very sustainable, rapidly renewable, locally grown and processed material. We are fortunate to live in an area where one of the top ten construction bamboos in the world grows naturally and wild.
These ideas support the Community Business Model.
For more on this concept, see our About Us page.
The home plans below are designs that fit into the parameters above. We have to limit our designs in order to make them cost effective for the customer and maintain profitability for ourselves. Our future plans include pre-designed “kits” for homes, greenhouses, gazebos, etc. These modular kits can be combined to customize living spaces. The advantages of modular kit construction are that the components, including most of the foundation forms and structure, can be prefabricated off site, or on site, in a separate area from the construction. Sections can be used to support tarps for temporary storage.
The straw model home
These “kits” represent the modular components of these designs. They can be combined together to customize the design to fit the needs and budget of the client. The center raised hallway is one kit, and this can be used for a front entrance, patio, and carports. There is a half octagon cupola (yellow). This “kit” is fabricated on a full cupola mold and the walls can be extended to use it as a small office or dining area as an addition onto an exterior wall. The back of the house where the bedrooms and baths are located have the rectangular roof sections “kit” that can accommodate the raised hallway and cupola if desired.
And the front, 32 foot diameter Octagon “kit” at the end, is an open floor plan that has the living, dining, and kitchen areas. This octagon is part of a “kit” that can be made in several diameters for one bedroom houses and gazebos. The front porch is a center rectangular Cupola kit that can easily be framed as a patio, entrance, carport, or stand alone gazebo. So as you can see this house is simply a few modular “kits” placed together in this configuration. Other configurations could include a rectangular house (no Octagon) extended center cupola, or no cupola, depending on budget and individual desires.
We want these homes to be beautiful. Affordable does not have to be cheap or ugly if it is intelligently designed. And it should allow for some customization, so folks can have their houses better fit their lifestyles, instead of the opposite: being stuck with fitting into your house. So we are choosing a pre-manufactured, or at least mostly pre-manufactured kit home idea. By combining different kits, we can make different houses with different floor plans, and still maintain the advantages of the kit concept.
Our homes have some sort of Cupola planned into the roof to allow natural light to enter, but with little to no heat gain. When appropriate they can be left open to allow for natural ventilation.
The ceilings are high and vaulted so there is an uplifting feeling of space. Natural light and high vaulted ceilings make the houses seem much larger than they are!!!
The structure is of bamboo, which is light and flexible and stronger than steel for its weight. The ceilings are designed in an open beam design, with the ceiling material above the bamboo structure. For more on how the bamboo is treated, and information on the structural and building characteristics go the Bamboo Treatment and Interesting Bamboo Facts.
Here is a view looking from the living/dining area to the kitchen.
Some advantages of this modular “kit “ style of construction
Having done consulting for several years here, there are some typical issues with constructing here:
Contractors here have varying degrees of experience in building homes to foreigners expectations. And like back home, contractors varying degrees of experience in business and project management abilities. This can result in frustration for clients. Some of which are cultural conflicts as well. Many times customers expectations are not in touch with the reality of the local labor experience or the materials being used. This is why we are designing and building modular “kit” houses, gazebos, greenhouses, etc. The client can see the quality they can expect in previous projects.
With the exception of the bamboo, the rest of the house is made of materials well known and accepted by most foreigners. This means there is a much better chance of getting what you expect. We have developed systems that allow us to reduce labor and construction time.
We want to produce a house, of known quality, in a known amount of time, for a known price, that is made of components that have been proven before and will result in happy clients, who will recommend us. We also want these projects done within the time frame and budget, so we can make a profit too. We are aspiring to a Win/Win for client, workers, and contractor! For more on our style of business see the About Us page.
We have already proven all of the concepts here with the building of the Bamboo Cabin Prototype. We are now (November 2012) working on a full scale model of these “kits” as a greenhouse. This greenhouse will incorporate the basic designs and utilize the same forms for producing the columns, and octagon for the cupola. Please check back in the next couple of months to see our new photos.
Here are some advantages
- The modular”kits” are standardized, not custom.
- Add-ons are just smaller kits or parts of kits, allowing the customer to customize the floor plan.
- The builders have done everything before, all most all sections and parts of this can be pre-manufactured.
- There are very few custom pieces to cut on site.
- Plumbing and Electrical layouts are standard.
- Foundations are prefabricated and standardized.
- The whole house basically snaps together.
- Walls use full size sheets and lengths of sheetrock and Plycem to reduce material waste & labor costs. ($$$)
- The house can be “under roof” in a very short time.
- Systems are designed to be built in inclement weather.
- Houses can be completed by a small crew, in months, not years
- Quality is a known, not a hope.
- Cost is a known, not a hope.
- Completion time is a known, not a hope.
Use of quality systems like PEX plumbing, Romex Wiring, Sheetrock and Plycem siding on steel studs, quality roofing systems that save energy and are quieter.
Pre-designed plumbing and electrical systems that will be high quality, reliable.
Use of natural indirect light, unlike skylights, low heat gain.
Modular designs that are customizable to your taste and budget.