Property prices are shooting up in American cities as construction firms struggle to find land to build new homes. A Harvard researcher believes he has found the answer to the shortage of building land by inventing stackable homes that can be built in under three weeks.
The idea is the brainchild of Jeff Wilson who spent two years living in a dumpster while working as the dean of Huston-Tillotson University in Texas. According to Business Insider, Wilson said the experience made him embrace minimalist living, and inspired him to create Kasita. He notes: “The way we build housing (and even skyscrapers) hasn’t changed substantially in over 100 years and a lot of that lag is because we haven’t updated the way we approach building”.
Kasita, the Spanish word ‘casita’ means ‘little house’, offers affordable housing units that are stand alone, stack on top of each other to form apartments or can be placed on top of already existing buildings. The pre-fabricated homes can be assembled off-site and delivered within just three weeks.
“The way we build housing (and even skyscrapers) hasn’t changed substantially in over 100 years and a lot of that lag is because we haven’t updated the way we approach building”.
The startup will sell its first units for only $139,000. Each unit measures 352 square feet and there is already a waiting list to ship orders right across the United States. The first batch, which can be ordered online, will be delivered in December 2017.
The interiors have a modern design with all the latest tech and gadgets. There is a main living area that works as both a lounge and bedroom, with a modern kitchen and bathroom.
Each home comes with electric ovens, dishwashers, and fixtures and fittings. The unique design allows for space-saving storage due to its small size, and drawers and cupboards are in well-hidden places throughout.
Each home features sophisticated tech integrations, including heating and cooling systems, glass windows that tint to the natural light outside, and other gadgets.
Wilson says that his plan is to make buying a home an easy one where the consumer can buy a house in the same way as buying a laptop online. He says that Kasita is both a product and a home, and will revolutionize the housing industry.
What’s more, as the company evolves, and the market expands, the Kasita team will be able to work with the customer to create bespoke designs that cater specifically for their needs.
According to Urban Land, newly released data illustrates a major obstacle to a fully healthy housing market in the United States. The shortage of new homes is bottling up housing demand and pushing prices and rents well beyond what many can afford.
Projects like Kasita are most certainly a viable solution to America’s housing crisis, by delivering affordable, small and stackable homes. It will take bold ideas and policy-changing steps by local authorities and governments to encourage projects like this to become the norm.