Modular, circular and ecological homes accessible to all
With the project Mobble on the move, inhout bv wants to make a modular and ecological building system marketable that makes healthy living and working accessible to everyone. This circular project builds on the project with which UGent participated in Solar Decathlon in 2019.
The aim is to reconcile circular principles with maximum ecological impact with affordable and quality housing and offices. Thus, we want to develop a version of Mobble that fully responds to the living and working of the future and creates applicable solutions for social challenges such as energy saving, circularity, densification and ageing.
Furthermore, we want to investigate whether and how we can apply Mobbles on a large scale and cost-efficiently. This not only offers solutions for temporary constructions (home care, schools, offices, emergency housing), but also allows more permanent constructions to be realised in a circular way.
In early 2020, we focused on finding the right materials and partners and solving technical challenges. For example, the walls of the Mobble are not part of the load-bearing structure, allowing the house to be adapted to the needs of the moment.
By standardising and using a stability matrix, we can quickly determine the stability and load-bearing structure of each house (no higher than three floors).
In mid-2020, we were selected to build six compact, healthy and affordable homes in Flemish Brabant. In a new workshop in Eeklo, we started construction of our first commercial modular homes, which we successfullydelivered in early 2021.
In 2021, we invested a lot of time in further optimising our modular, circular and ecological constructionprocess, as well as in commercialising our product: we created a new logo, launched a new website ...
MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
To lower the price of modular and circular homes, we need to be able to scale upproduction. We can make modular construction very efficient in a workshop, but that requires large investments, such as a spacious workshop, overhead cranes, all kinds of expensive machinery ...
It is not obvious to keep the square metre price of a small-scale house under control. All houses have a standard need for certain techniques, a bathroom, kitchen ... The bigger the house, the faster the price per square metre can drop.
Because we want to focus strongly on accessibility and affordability, we have little room to be innovative in terms of techniques. Such innovations often have too great an impact on the budget.
The regulations in Flanders and Belgium do not provide for the adaptability (growing over time) of homes. Relocatability and/or temporary nature due to certain circumstances is also barely included in legislation, if at all.
8mobbles in 2021
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
We work hard to increase housing affordability and adaptability.
On the one hand, the affordability of our homes depends on external factors, such as the cost of materials. Because our homes are built entirely of wood, for instance, we have been hit hard in recent months. Once timber prices fall again, the Mobble will also be able to drop in price. On the other hand, the cost price is directly related to internal factors, such as the efficiency of our processes. We have already come a long way there, and the last houses were built a lot faster than the first ones. However, there is still room for improvement.
Currently, we mainly focus on B2C. In the future, we would also like to realise B2B projects. We are convinced that the Mobble can offer great advantages to property developers and social housing companies, because of our construction speed and affordability.