When we hear words like “trailer,” “mobile home,” and “manufactured home,” a particular kind of image comes to mind of a structure that’s far more affordable than it is beautiful, durable, or efficient. However, recent advances in prefabricated building manufacturing, not to mention an increased demand for portable homes, have swung the pendulum in the other direction toward higher-end structures that place an emphasis on craftsmanship. Now, a company called Leap Factory presents “LeapHome,” a two-story prefab that can go off-grid. The company is billing it as “a new way of housing inspired by nature.”
The 1,400-square-foot house is designed to have a minimal impact on its surroundings, wherever you might place it. It’s made of FSC-certified wood, reusable and recyclable materials, and cutting-edge insulation to maximize air circulation and evenly distribute heat and humidity. An integrated low-impact heating system helps limit the LeapHome’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions, and its prefab components sit lightly upon the ground, so very little foundation work is needed.
Each LeapHome is a showcase of modern Italian design. The creators envisioned the prefab as an encapsulation of “the best of ‘Made in Italy,’” fitting it with spacious, minimalist interiors that are also warm, comfortable, and full of quality built-in furniture. Each home includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a study area, kitchen, dining area, double-height living room, and an outdoor terrace. Additionally, the LeapHome can be customized to accommodate the buyer’s choice of materials, layouts, and other features.
The silhouette of the LeapHome recalls that of a conventional mobile home, with a long, narrow profile and an outer “shell” punctuated by windows and doors. Both ends of the home open up to your chosen landscape thanks to optional, customizable features like sliding glass doors, vertical ribbon windows, skylights, and floor-to-ceiling glazing.
You can also choose to add solar panels to the home to run the heater, air purification systems, smart cooking devices, home automation systems, and even greenhouse modules. A biological liquid waste management system and other means of sanitation allow the house to be fully disconnected from the grid, so you can plunk yours down virtually anywhere you want. Every LeapHome is unique, with its own optimized features and configurations. From initial design to delivery, the process of getting yourself a fully-furnished, functional LeapHome only takes a few weeks.
“Like Meccano blocks, precise and combinable at will: this is the challenge launched by LeapHome. That is, applying industrial production methods to all the elements that compose a house,” says the company. “The various components, like for a car, are assembled on site totally dryly and do not need any further processing or adjustments. Controlling production inside the factory increases quality standards, speeds up the building process, and limits risks. A LeapHome is the result of careful selection, design, and planning, leading to utmost simplicity and sustainability, so high-quality materials and a minimal number of components can be used in an optimized eco-certified process.”
“The revolution introduced by LeapHome’s original constructive solution is reverberated in the disappearance of the building site as it is traditionally understood: a place of uncertainty, delays, of the unforeseen, with a large impact on costs and on the ecological footprint.”