The homes of the future will not only be more sustainable and affordable—they will also be much faster to build. Prefab architecture is paving the way, and now there's more variety than ever to choose from. From a green-roofed hobbit home to a modular net-zero abode, we’ve rounded up 12 eco-friendly dream homes that can be snapped together in three days flat (or less!) almost anywhere in the world. Keep reading to see them all, as well as some video time-lapses of the speedy construction.
Your dreams of living in Hobbiton could be closer than you think. Magic Green Homes has created prefabricated Hobbit homes that are so easy to construct, just about anyone can build one in just three days. Made from prefabricated vaulted panels, the flexible modular homes connect together without any need for special skills or heavy equipment. The homes can be covered with soil and geotextiles to grow a living green roof.
Unveiled last year as part of Greenbuild 2015, this gorgeous Unity home is a net-zero prefab that can be assembled in less than three days—but is designed to last for centuries. Speed of assembly isn’t this eco-home’s only impressive feature, however. The 1,620-square-foot net-zero-ready dwelling was built to LEED v4 Platinum standards and outfitted with the world’s largest collection of Cradle to Cradle (C2C)-certified building products ever used in a residential project. Click here to read more and to watch a timelapse of the project assembly.
A factory-fabricated home might not sound appealing on paper, but Robert Gurney’s Modular One helps prove that prefab can be beautiful. Located just outside Washington, D.C. in Bethesda, Maryland, the Modular One is an award-winning prefabricated home comprising 13 energy-efficient modules. The modern light-filled home was assembled on-site within two days.
Architect Jonas Wagel successfully subverted Sweden’s strict permitting regulations with the Mini House, a modern solar-powered prefab that took two people just two days to put together once the piers were in place. Built to withstand both summer and winter conditions, the compact 15-square-meter home also comes with customized modular add-ons, from a kitchen and bath module to a storage module. A solar power kit can be added to the home to provide electricity.
Bamboo and prefab is a match made in heaven. Just ask Bamboo Living Homes, a company that prefabricates gorgeous bamboo homes and ships the disassembled products to anywhere in the world for reassembly on-site. One of their fastest bamboo building crews put together two houses in just two days in Hawaii. You can watch the project in action in the video.
Moscow-based BIO Architects created a tiny and adorable holiday retreat with a patio that can be assembled in just one day. The cozy timber dwelling, called the DublDom (Russian for ‘double house’), comes fully equipped with all the basic home equipment, including sanitary equipment, a mains connection, insulation, wiring, plumbing, and custom-made furniture. Full-height glazing and skylights fill the gabled structure with light and opens up the home to views of the outdoors and natural ventilation.
Going portable and prefab doesn’t have to mean compromising on luxury. The Bert & May Group created Big Box, an eco-friendly luxury home that was assembled in just one day for Decorex 2015. Wrapped in structurally insulated panels and topped with a green roof, the 80-square-meter energy-efficient home was factory-built off-site in 14 weeks. The model home’s interior was outfitted in gorgeous upcycled furnishings and filled with natural light through double-glazed operable openings.
Architect Samuel Gonclaves developed the “Gomos System,” a smart concrete modular housing system that can produce a fully livable home in just three days. Launched last year in Arouca, Portugal, a Gomos modular home is expected to have a starting cost of €50,000, plus taxes, for the base model. The customizable homes can be modified to fit different sizes or types of terrain, and buyers have the options to choose custom materials, furnishings, and more.
Prefab may be the answer to your cozy timber cabin dreams. Hungarian studio T2.a Architects completed the Photographer’s House, a lovely wooden cabin for photographer Zsolt Batar assembled in just two days in a forest outside Budapest. Constructed from cross-laminated timber, the prefabricated and affordable dwelling is lined with wooden panels and full-height windows that overlook views of the forest.
The Passion House M1 is a versatile home that snaps together in just two days. Designed by Estonian studio Architect 11, the Passion House M1 was developed as the smallest model in their series of modular housing options. The eco-friendly dwelling was constructed mostly from wood and uses a fully automated system that features solar heating, passive ventilation, and solar shading instead of an air conditioning system.
Ireland’s first shipping container home was completed on-site in just three days. Designed by Ceardean Architects and built by a team of volunteers, the solar-powered container home sleeps six and includes a bathroom, kitchen, living space, and an outdoor deck. The solar-powered home also includes micro-heating recovery units and was donated to the St. Vincent de Paul charity to shelter a homeless family.
Built in three months but assembled in three days, MYCC’s Prefabricated Nature is a beautiful eco-vacation house inspired by the region’s farmhouse vernacular and abundance eucalyptus forests. The modern dwelling comprises six modules—each measuring six meters by three meters—set into place by a crane. The home was built in a remote coastal location in Cedeira, Spain, just 700 kilometers from the factory where the modules were prefabricated.