The question of affordable, eco-friendly housing is a common one in today’s market, especially in a world where housing in general is a problem in many countries. It’s Britain’s high housing costs that inspired the Manchester-based company Dwelle to put forth their own solution.
A “Dwelle.ing” is a prefabricated eco home, designed and produced by Dwelle, that ranges from a small one bedroom home, all the way up to a church. The acclaimed architectural designs can achieve a zero carbon status and respond efficiently to the inhabitants desired and varied requirements. The idea was born from the concept “sheds for living” and was further developed until it became a range of micro-buildings with a multitude of uses.
Dwelle formed as a result of the need to source alternative housing in Britain due to the high costs and limited options available for those on a smaller budget. It was imperative to the masterminds behind the Dwelle.ings that the design assimilated the same eco-friendly criteria that the group had utilized in previous eco-projects, though their designs would continue to develop and expand over time.
The first prototype was created for the 2009 Grand Designs exhibition, which saw it’s ideation become a reality, and was well received by visitors to the forum. The basic design was altered to reflect the feedback the team had obtained, effectively improving their original product. The range of Dwell.ing micro-buildings were to be “highly sustainable, fast to erect and extremely adaptable.”
The compact nature of the building means that it’s carbon footprint is significantly smaller than ordinary brick and mortar accommodations. They can achieve all essential requirements to meet level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes for materials, waste, water, and energy. Depending on which purchase options you choose, the building can even potentially be zero carbon.
The building is also completely adaptable, as you choose which design suits you and then add and expand to tailor the living space to your personal specifications. Typically, a building shell would include the following: an insulated timber frame panel system with all membranes & fixings, cladding and roofing, external doors and windows, internal doors and ironmongery, ventilation duct work, first-fix plumbing and sanitary frames, first-fix electrics and cabling, dry lining boards, and internal fittings (such as skirting boards and balustrades). On the inside, it would also include a hot water cylinder, an underfloor heating system, sanitary fittings, sockets and switches, light fittings, a kitchen with appliances, wall finishes, and flooring. Eco-friendly additional elements are also available, which will consequently alter the price of your selected Dwelle.ing.
As all the products are designed and manufactured in Manchester, there is a showroom located in Rusholme where curious viewers can go and visit a fully constructed Dwelle.ing and even take part in their regular workshops on Carbon Literacy.
Unfortunately the standard Dwelle.ing is currently unavailable outside of the UK, though their website ensures us that they are working on a solution to this so that potential “Dwellers” can enjoy the products worldwide. Their “Mobile Dwelle.ing” and “Little Dwelle.ing” may transported to certain European locations depending on the exact location and requirements (check out the website for more details).
The cost to set up a Dwelle.ing are broken down into three categories: the cost of the building shell, the interior features (fitting-out), and then an estimated cost of what the total project may be. Dwelle offers savings up to 20 percent when purchasing multiple structures as well. The average cost of a Dwelle.ing is as follows:
– Dwelle.ing building shell from £65,000; fitted-out from £85,000; approximate full project cost from £100,000 (ex VAT)
– Little Dwelle.ing building shell from £45,000; fitted-out from £65,000; approximate full project cost from £75,000 (ex VAT)
– Mobile Dwelle.ing building shell from £50,000; fitted-out from £70,000; approximate full project cost from £75,000 (ex VAT)
As an alternative to a bricks and mortar home, the Dwelle.ing has been designed to last a lifetime and harness all of the things you would want from an ordinary home. It has the potential to meet Passivhaus standards and Lifetime Home Standards as well as being completely personalized to meet all of YOUR standards. Over time, it’s appearance and functions can also be altered as you alter, meaning the building can be extended or built up. It is simply ideal for those looking for a cheaper, more simplistic lifestyle. A Dwelle.ing is also a perfect solution for those looking for quality, low-energy work or office accommodations as well as a great holiday home, gym, or even a classroom!