Friday, September 9, 2016
Can Micro Homes Solve the Global Housing Crisis?
Size matters to some but in a world of land scarcity and a housing shortage epidemic, small micro sized homes are growing in popularity. The statistics are frightening: currently, more than 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing with 100 million people living without a home. It is estimated that up to 50 percent of the urban housing stock in South Asia and 25 percent in Latin America is of poor quality.
Alarmingly, UN studies estimate that by 2030 an additional 3 billion people—40 percent of the world’s population—will need access to housing. Inspired architects, realising that small is more efficient have come up with a possible solution: micro houses.
There is currently no definition for a microhouse; it can be a tiny home on wheels that looks like a garden shed or a slightly larger brick-and-mortar house with flexible interior layouts, what is common among the designs is a priority on making the most out of what limited space is available.
Top architects like Renzo Piano, known for London’s Shard is a trailblazer in the design of small homes; his Diogene Micro Home measures just 7.5 sq m (81 sqft) but surprisingly still has all the basics that you need for modern living. Inside there is a folding desk, composting onboard toilet, solar panels, and rainwater collection devices, so it makes the most of renewable energy sources also. Centrala Architects, have built what they say is the world’s narrowest house—The Keret House—in the former Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw. The complete home was constructed within a former alley and measures just 122 cm (48 in) at its widest.
The architects of 29sqm may not have been inspired when it came to naming their micro home but the ingenuity at play creating its semi-mezzanine structure is unrivaled, they fitted a bed area over the main wardrobe accessible via a small wooden staircase. This is a testament to their ability to get creative with a minimal space availability.
“We see micro homes playing an intrinsic part in minimizing the global housing shortage in the coming years,” said Kian Moini—co founder and managing director of Lamudi—the global property platform for the emerging markets. “Once the design concepts can be rolled out for the mass market, developers can construct thousands of these homes with just a small amount of land,” said Moini.
As soon as developers can figure out how best to both construct and market these micro homes there is sure to be a rapid increase in their production. A lot of people have an idea in their head that a home needs to be a certain size or their family might not have a comfortable lifestyle. These latest designs prove that under one tiny roof, you can find everything you need to have a high standard of home living.