If you’ve ever dreamed of living inside an old Zepplin, then this pre-fab modular home, the Canühome, designed by George Brown College’s Institute Without Boundaries, is for you. Well actually, the designers thought it looked more like a canoe, hence the name. They also wanted the name to provoke a question: “Can ü make a difference?” Of course the appropriate answer is yes, and certainly so with this unique design. In their own words,
The design is intended for use by young couples, seniors, singles/small families, as a starter or finisher home.It has been designed to fit in rear gardens in the city, the suburbs, or rooftops of buildings or in the countryside.
At 850 sq/ft, it fits the bill, being the same size as a typical condo or apartment; a fully comprehensive unit including a kitchen, living room, dining room, bedroom and bathroom (with a shower that will hold 4 people for efficient water use!).
Made largely of FSC certified plywood and other wood materials, the modular home is assembled with the aid of steel brackets. Being modular you can hook up as many or as few units as you like should your need for space grow or diminish. The engineering behind the design is quite ingenious. Its shape allows for convective and radiant heating, and they proudly announce that “air is a building material”! The curvature of the structure also channels rain water for capture and use in various applications, and they have plans to incorporate solar collectors to help meet some of the energy needs of the home.
The project has 5 major goals; to engage the public, to raise public awareness of the impact of housing on the environment, to showcase sustainability, to aid in growing the market for sustainable homes and related products, and finally, to enable the housing industry to more easily move towards sustainable practices. It remains unclear what the future will hold for the faculty, student and expert designed home after it returns from its show tour, but if properly marketed, it has some real possibilities.
For those of you with spare plywood lying around, they’ve even made the technical drawings (PDF) available for you online.
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