Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Hobbit Prefabricated Home Coming into the Market

Ever since the first Lord of the Rings movie came out, people have been fascinated with the concept of having their own "hobbit home" – a quaint, vaulted house that sits beneath a covering of soil and vegetation. Building your own from scratch, however, could be rather challenging. 

Another prefab manufacturer, Green Magic Homes is now offering hobbit-like “modular” structures, that can be joined up to match buyers' specifications. After that, you just add dirt and plants.

Besides looking neat and being cozy, earth-covered homes like these also offer a practical advantage – the soil covering provides excellent insulation, helping to keep the structure warm in winter and cool in the summer. The window and door arches protrude from the sides, so they won't be covered when the soil is heaped on top.

Each Green Magic Home is made up of individual fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) arches, which are bolted together sort of like sections of a waterslide. These joined segments become different types of watertight rooms/modules, which can in turn be linked together to form various styles of homes – buyers can also mix and match modules as they wish.

When the soil is added, its weight reportedly actually helps press the sections together, adding strength instead of creating structural stress.

The company's latest module is the Wikiki, a 404-sq ft (37.5-sq m) unit that can serve as a "man cave," guest cottage, art studio, or pretty much whatever you want. It reportedly takes three people three days to put it together, requiring no special skills or heavy equipment … although it's not clear if that includes adding the soil and plants, known as a "living roof."

Every kit includes wooden doors and windows, along with some fiber cement board components which are joined to the FRP sections using nylon ties and then sealed with an elastomer. Conduits and ducts for things like water and ventilation can also be added.

Prices are based on a cost of US$41.74 per square foot, delivered.

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