Affordable small housing

There is now much interest in small houses because they are flexible, economic, adaptable, affordable and fun.

They provide diversity in housing choice and are known as eco houses, tiny homes, granny flats, green homes, kit homes, prefabricated modular houses, small lot housing, courtyard houses, backyard cabins, studios, affordable accommodation, zero lot line houses, container houses, garden homes and a few other descriptions.

There is a growing awareness and popularity amongst buyers, designers, builders, planners and academics to provide for all lifestyle changes including families, singles, students, single parents, retirees, empty nesters, tree and sea changers who all have particular needs that respond to the unique personal adaption of a small house.

Small homes are also mobile, movable and relocatable and adapt easily to variable site conditions. New materials, efficient building systems, new methods of construction and technology allow economies of scale with efficiencies in time and materials and they are particularly adaptable to prefabricated modular designs.

To capitalise on the gaining momentum of this tiny house movement we have designed four basic housing layouts to cater for variable people needs and site conditions. These studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bed and 3 bed houses are shown on the following pages with suggested options for 2 lots, adapting to the flexibility of site conditions and orientation.

All houses are based on a 4 metre by 4 metre module to rationalise the layouts and adapt easily to prefabrication. The 4 m module easily divides into a 2 m half module and 1 m quarter module and on a larger scale the 4 m measurement adapts to the 30 m by 10 m lot size in the overall plan.

Small Housing


The modular design of all these small house plans (see 4 menu sublinks under Small Housing) is ideal for prefabrication off site as well as efficient construction on site.

Similar layouts for kitchens and bathrooms also provide economies of scale with faster construction tome, bulk buying of fixtures and fittings and efficient on-going maintenance in the servicing of built houses.

Access for people with disabilities can easily be incorporated into the plan layouts shown with individual fittings to cater for different levels of disability and personal needs.

Adaption to variable site conditions is simple with the modular design allowing raised floor levels for uneven ground, overland drainage flow, flood liable areas and the use of underfloor areas for rainwater or grew water storage tanks as well as ease of access for all building services.

The modular construction allows the efficient structure to ‘touch the ground lightly’ with minimal site disturbance contributing to the zero carbon rating during construction and occupation of the dwellings.

The four modular house plans shown can be reversed sideways or end on end to give a total of 16 plan variations which are then varied internally to suit potential resident needs and preferences.

External use of different materials and roof forms as well as variable site conditions will ensure a fully cohesive and interesting streetscape which will be a far departure from the image of stereotyped manufactured homes crammed into some housing estates.

It is envisages that there will be approximately equal numbers of each house plan type in each cluster which also adds interest to the streetscape, but this will depend on potential resident needs as the community progresses from the initial stages.

The emphasis on compatibility, individual design needs and integrated landscape will create the affordable house in nature that is the basic theme of this overall master plan concept.

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