The field of manufactured homes had been growing for several years, however, the pandemic has been a shock. Thus, there are several large companies (related or not to the construction sector) that have presented their models or invested in the sector during this time of crisis.
This is the Ikea prefabricated house of 17 square meters
Ikea prefab house
The multinational Ikea has launched into the prefabricated house business with its ‘Tiny Home’ project, which aims to “better educate and inspire consumers to bring sustainability to their own lives,” explains the Swedish company. Thus, this first job is a zero-emission house that he has built together with the American company Escapes Homes and that he promotes together with the Vox Media brand studio, Vox Creative.
The Boho XL prefabricated house model has been chosen by Ikea to build this first model. It is a kind of 17-square-meter trailer, with large windows and is equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom. The North American company offers this house for $ 47,550. The version with the Ikea furniture is offered for $ 63,350.
This is Muji’s prefabricated house: 100 m2, made of wood and resistant to earthquakes
Muji Prefab House
The Japanese textile company has built a pilot house for this new model in Yamaguchi prefecture , in Japan, and has a total area of almost 102 square meters. It is only available under reservation in Japan for almost 16 million yen, about 132,700 euros, at the current exchange rate.
In addition to being earthquake resistant and highly insulated, the building has large windows that connect to a large terrace and potential garden. The company has explained that this home has been configured to accommodate a wide range of generations and a variety of different lifestyles.
The prefabricated house designed by former SpaceX, Tesla or Airbnb workers
Jupe Prefab Homes
The American company Jupe proposes prefabricated shelters that are designed to offer a getaway in nature for urban travelers. “Jupe is an out-of-town getaway that is inspired by the universe,” explains Jeff Wilson, Jupe’s co-founder and CEO. “During these times when most of us yearn for a true getaway, Jupe offers a perfectly adequate travel experience while respecting social distance,” he adds.
The Panasonic Prefab House
Panasonic Home has chosen the Waikato region of New Zealand to build its first prefabricated house prototype. Completed last January, it is a one-story structure with three bedrooms. The construction time has been three months, “four months shorter than the time required by the conventional method of construction of houses used in New Zealand,” the company explains in a statement.
The Panasonic Home prefab construction method is based on large panels – intended for facades, roofs or floors – which are securely fastened with strong bolts and metal joining fittings. The result is a monocoque structure, which is capable of supporting the loads applied to it. This system, the company explains in a statement, allows the house to be resistant to external forces such as typhoons and earthquakes. The monocoque serves to distribute the stresses equally throughout the structure.
The Factory OS company announced in late 2020 that it raised $ 55 million in a Series B funding round, which was backed by Autodesk, Citi, Facebook, Google and Morgan Stanley. Founded in 2017, Factory_OS drives efficiency in multi-unit home construction by building modular components on a factory assembly chain.
The factory modular home building model is nothing new, but Factory_OS has brought the industry two key innovations: a completely new design using the latest in digital tools and a partnership with the California Labor Union.
The company’s founders realized early on “that they needed union involvement for their revolutionary approach to construction, as well as union support for their expected increase in demand for skilled workers,” they explain.
After spending 12 years at Apple overseeing the planning and management of its global supply chain, Greg Leung is the CEO of Connect Homes, a California-based company dedicated to the industrialized construction industry with an innovative proposition. The company recorded the highest number of bookings in its history during the second quarter of 2020.
The term prefabricated house no longer refers only to the wooden house of the campsite. Under this term is the concept of industrialized housing construction, which manufactures single-family houses and buildings in large warehouses like any other product. Some housing solutions that are designed as a main house, second residence or, also, to combat the housing problem of many large cities. The Connect Homes proposal focuses on the production of design properties, designed as a first residence and in a fast and sustainable way.
Greg Leung explains in an interview with the American media Business Insider that under his assembly line construction method he can build a house every 6 days, while a complete house can be delivered in 24 days. In addition, Connect Homes delivers their homes 90% complete and installs them on the plot using a crane.
Amazon also invests in manufactured homes
Plan Prefab is an American company that in 2018 received financial support from Amazon. The company’s goal is to build homes that are as healthy and sustainable as possible. Thus, in addition to having the passivhaus seal, which guarantees the maximum use of energy to save and respect the environment, they are equipped with Amazon’s home automation technology to make smart and more efficient homes.
Customers can ask Alexa to adjust the thermostat, enable guest Wi-Fi access, control lighting, or help with power monitoring, among other functionalities. Living SmartHome products come fully installed and ready for activation. “Following our investment in Plant Prefab last year (2018), we at Amazon are delighted to continue collaborating with Plant Prefab to deliver convenient smart home experiences in every LivingHome.” said David Jackson, director of Smart Home at Amazon.