SA Affordable Housing November - December 2018 // Issue: 73 - Page 22

FEATURES normal building site is prepared, a prefab home will usually already be built. And since building takes place indoors, weather delays do not pose any problems. Internationally green pod homes have been designed to take local climates into account. Back in 2011 a group of Indian architects headed by Komal Gupta, developed a modular pod home they suggested would be ideal for the Philippines. That country is often battered by typhoons, floods and tsunamis and as such their design centred around building a central, weather resistant core, around which modular pods made of simple bamboo would be gathered. The idea was that while the interior weathered the storm, the outside pods would protect the core, and in the worst weather likely blow away, but would ultimately be extremely cheap to replace. This interior strengthened core holds all the necessary elements like water lines, power, staircases and each apartment’s kitchen and bathroom. This would ensure that the worst scenarios of massive floods like disease, or starvation could be hugely decreased. In Vietnam H&P architects have also turned to bamboo for their modular pod home design. The challenge they face is that the area they build in can be both extremely hot and also flood fairly regularly. Their solution is to develop a home-made of light bamboo, leaves and recycled oil containers, that when faced with a flood simply floats. In extreme heat the roof flaps can be opened up like the petals of a large flower thereby providing shade, while also cooling the home. One wall of the home is also turned into a vertical, hanging garden made from rope and bamboo trays. While these homes are not something that would pass the muster of strict building codes, it is an interesting take on the problem and at just R30 000 each, they have become very popular in that far-eastern country. Studies have shown that by the time a normal building site is prepared, a prefab home will usually already be built. Built to more exacting standards is the ‘pop-up house’ designed by French architecture firm Multipod. Made from entirely recyclable materials the home can be built by a small team of builders, armed only with screwdrivers in just four days, and is so well insulated it requires no heating at all in its location in the south of France. Compared to other pod houses of its kind it is extremely large, coming in at 150m 2 but it is also expensive costing almost R600 000. To house the world’s homeless population we are always going to turn to innovation, and if these homes are anything to go by, there are plenty of innovative solutions to go around. Pod homes tend to create less waste than traditional buildings. 20 NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2018