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By Chere Di Boscio
It’s sad but true: building a new home usually has a profound ecological impact. From sourcing raw materials like wood, cement and steel from far and wide to transporting them to the site, there is much energy and environmental ruin involved. Then there’s construction waste, which accounts for a large chunk of landfill in almost all countries around the world.
Luckily, several companies are coming up with solutions to reduce a new home’s eco impact, and one of these is Minimod.
Using prefab mobile units made from a steel frame and sustainably sourced wood, the modules created by this Brazilian-born company are fabricated in a factory, and once the assembly of the house is completed, the Minimod is transported to the owner’s site, where it arrives as a “ready-to-go” living unit.
The large openings on the three sides of the basic model provide a connection with the exterior environment, while also ensuring ample interior natural lighting and ventilation. The exterior of the unit is clad with recycled wood, whereas the interior is clad entirely in pine plywood.
Minimod houses have one strong advantage over traditionally-built homes: they can be easily taken apart and reassembled just about anywhere, without a foundational structure being dug and laid in advance. This reduces waste, and causes no harm to natural surroundings.
These Minimod homes are small but chic in a minimalist way. These are fully self-sufficient, off-grid dwellings that consist of four modules; a bedroom, bathroom, living room and dining room (which also contains the kitchen).
They come with their own rainwater harvesters that rest on their green roofs. Rainwater from can then be filtered and recycled for use as grey water in the home.
The units are perfect for any environment, be it on the shores of a tranquil beach, in the middle of a forest, or even in the desert. No wonder Minimod was preselected for the Iberoamerican Biennial of Architecture and Urban Planning in 2014.
If you find these tiny homes are, well, too tiny, never fear – the expansion and addition of new modules can be performed following your needs and budget. Understood as an open system, Minimod essentially presents itself as an unfinished project, a catalyst for future expansion by the homeowner, allowing him or her the flexibility to have their home grow as their family does, making Minimod the dream home they’d always hoped for.
For more information, see www.minimod.com.br
Photos by Leonardo Finotti ©[email protected]