From our house to KitHAUS: Next generation of prefab houses


About a week ago, I wrote a post about the Styrofoam homes that are currently being manufactured by the International Dome House Company. Durable, whimsical, and wonderfully insulated, the bubble-shaped buildings have unbeatable energy efficiency, can be easily constructed in about a week, and can be adapted for multiple uses. On the other hand, they are basically huge foam hemispheres, which might make them less than attractive for anybody who isn't a Smurf or a hobbit.

With that in mind, anybody interested in building a reasonably-priced, energy-efficient home might want to check out KitHAUS. Starting at $29,500 for a 117-square foot module, KitHAUSes are designed to be attached to each other to form larger houses, offices, and getaways. Constructed of double-pane glass and aluminum frames, they can be assembled in a few days and come pre-wired for electricity. Although neither as energy-efficient nor as whimsical as their Japanese Styrofoam counterparts, the KitHAUS modules fit much more easily into the traditional Western concept of a home. Better yet, since they don't need heavy building equipment and can be easily carried, they fit very comfortably into places where a traditional home would fear to tread!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. Although he loves the KitHAUS design, the idea of living in a glass house just makes him want to throw stones.