One Cool Habitat, a prefab maker out of New Zealand, has a different take on prefabs than most other manufacturers do. Typically with prefab homes, you get the design they're selling and changes could cost you a pretty penny. One Cool Habitat believes that if you're buying space, you should be able to make it however you want. They offer a shipping container mini prefab with the adage that it's 'Your Space - Your Way.' They provide the shell, and you furnish it however you like.
One Cool Habitat is built out of a 20′ shipping container, using the chasis of the container as a basis for the space. They cut out space for windows and doors, efficiently reusing the cut parts or sending them off to shipping container rebuilders. Windows are bonded to the frame of the structure similar to how a car windshield is attached — this provides extra support for the frame. Rather than traditional insulation and wall facing, a composite panel is used that provides efficient insulation, strength, and a wall. This composite is also fire-retardant, vermin proof and fully recyclable.
The space within this standard 20′ shipping container can be set up however the buyer wants — whether you need an extra room, an office, or even a place to hang out. One Cool Habitat builds out the space and installs the interior walls, but then the owner has the opportunity to build out the interior however they want. As Paul Bartlett, a designer for the firm told us, “Instead of designing a prefab to be all things to all people, it was felt that a broader appeal would derive from a client having greater options to customize it to suit their tastes, and most importantly – on their budget. And this would be carried out in house by the client once receiving the unit, within their own timeframe.”
One Cool Habitat’s prefabs can be shipped anywhere around the world and are considered temporary structures, so there shouldn’t be issues with zoning or codes. The prefab can be easily transported on the back of a truck and placed anywhere with a level floor. They can even be placed up on a platform, like the unit at their office (the platform was previously used to hold the America’s Cup yachting trophy from when the race was held in New Zealand). They expect to build and ship their base model, which is about 160 sq feet, starting at US $29,500.