Produced by EcoShelta, this small shed-like unit makes uses of modular design and prefabrication. The Australian company makes use of a design that’s been refined over the last three decades to create environmentally responsible buildings that are composed of corrugated aluminium panels, a steel frame and timber cladding.
According to EcoShelta, the system allows the units to be “extendible, demountable, relocatable, robust and long-lived”. Their use of corrugated aluminium has been seen by some as an inappropriate material for a building which is supposed to be eco-friendly, however they make a good case for its use on their website.
From EcoShelta: “We use marine grade structural aluminium alloy which is five times as strong as steel and half the weight, resulting in the use of only about a quarter the amount of material as it would take with steel and about a tenth as timber. The alloy we use is made from at least 15% recycled material. The mining and extraction process is heavily monitored in Australia and complete land rehabilitation is required. We prefer to use alloy smelted by low impact energy sources (Hydro or geothermal). We use low energy cutting and welding systems.”
I have to agree with EcoShelta on their use of aluminium; sometimes practicality outweighs embodied energy and ill-conceived notions of sustainability. The interiors are lined with EcoPly, a “plywood made from certified plantation grown timber with low emission, glues and no harmful chemical additives or toxic preservatives”.
The result is a structural frame that is extremely strong. Being in Australia it has to resist cyclones and bushfire. The modular system has been used to create anything from small garden retreats and cabins, to much larger hotels and resorts.
The buildings themselves typically feature plenty of window openings for natural light and ventilation, with large overhangs to help protect them from direct sunlight. The plan images above show some examples of how the system can be used to create a small home (much like our own MPOD design).
For more prefab houses check out the Element 1 by Method Homes. Or, Archiblox’s contemporary, carbon positive prefab house. See all prefab.