I am always on the lookout for new technology, especially in the area of home building. Several of my friends have unique houses. One build a home using shipping containers, another from recycled railroad cars and a third built a straw bale house. I participated in the last one and found that it was truly fun to build a home the old-fashioned way.
Recently, I heard about a new type of modular home called the Hivehaus®. It’s based on a hexagonal design, the same as a bee hive. You purchase as many or as few “cells,” or rooms as you want to start with and build from there. You can certainly start with a single cell and add on while you live in the first one. Here’s what you get with each cell:
- · A base with adjustable steel jacks that allow you to place the room on an uneven surface, there will be six pieces that form a hexagon.
- · Six steel wall frame supports
- · Six super insulated walls- you have your choice of solid walls, walls with windows or doors. The walls are bolted to the frame supports and are complete inside and outside. No additional finishing is needed.
- · Six roof pieces complete with LED lighting installed and a polycarbonate skylight in the middle. This allows you to have light in the room during the day without using more energy.
- · Any extras you have chosen.
Each room is approximately 100 square feet, which is plenty of space for any use. Each arrives in flat packed boxes. You can build several cells with removable walls to create a great room as well. Replace walls to create instant guest bedrooms.
Before ordering your home, check with your local ordinance board to ensure there will be no problems. Many building codes require structures to be build on concrete slabs, septic tanks installed and perhaps connections to the power grid. Complying with these is not that difficult, just follow the steps as your funds permit. To maximize the best use of funds and have the strongest slab, have the total slab poured first and build your cells as you go. You can have a bathroom cell with a conventional toilet installed and tied into the septic tank line by a licensed plumber.
If local ordinances do not require a septic tank, composting toilets are available. There is a wide variety of extras available, including:
- · Removable slatted privacy screens
- · Decks that you can build the rooms on
- · Movable walls that open to the outside, allowing an open and versatile design
- · Wood-burning stove that can be stationary or attached to a movable wall
- · Walls with full-length double or triple paned insulated windows
- · Green roofs
- · Solar panels
- · Kitchen cabinets made for the unique wall spaces
- · Bathroom fixtures and cabinets to fit the space
- · Interior walls are primed and ready for you to paint.
- · Exterior wall colors are chosen at time of purchase by you, or you can paint it later.
- · Under floor heating
- · Electric oil-filled radiators
- · Your choice of several different types of interior walls. For example, with or without doors or windows.
Currently, the system is available in the UK, but innovations this creative make their way to the US very quickly. The current wiring in the panels is for the 240V system, but a licensed electrician can change wiring to 110V to meet local US building codes.
You can use your cells to create an outdoor greenhouse, hot tub enclosure, guest room, guest house, weekend retreat, full time residence or anything that meets your needs. Since the design is entirely custom, prices will vary by the choices each customer makes.
Source: Nick Lavars, “Hivehaus Flat Packed Honeycomb Home Could Be The Bee’s Knees,” Gizmag website, 4 Dec, 2013
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.