The PerrinePod Prefab: A House That Can Be Erected In Three Days
‘But this is no flimsy, mail order, do-it-yourself number, the Perrinepod is made from pre-cast, pre-stressed and tensioned concrete and is cyclone and earthquake proof.
The one-bedroom model weighs in at a hefty 114 tonnes but has a starting price tag of $125,000. A three-bedroom, two-bathroom pod starts at $250,000. If you decide you want a little more room, you can plug another pod in, or stack one on top – the pods are engineered to stack up to 30 storeys high.
While the Perrinepod’s minimalist exterior and uber-cool interior will appeal to style mavens everywhere, the proud owner of the first six pods will be a guy named Bluey, in outback WA.
“We wanted to test the logistics of installation and transport on a remote location, so Bluey’s will be the first order we meet,” architect Jean-mic Perrine says.
Since Perrine first talked about the Perrinepod in STM (January 28, 2007) the Perth architect has been inundated with enquiries from all over the world. As a result, the release of the first pods was delayed to make sure they would comply with various international codes.
“It’s right off the scale as far as compliance goes,” Perrine says. “And we wanted to make it as ecologically sustainable as possible. When we get the final environmental impact it is going to be minimal.”
Initial statistics are impressive – the ceiling has an R value of 4.9 and the wall R6.8. By comparison a typical brick-and-tile house with insulation is about R3.2 for the ceiling and R1.9 in walls.
The pod comes with a Solar Edwards Heat Pump hot water system that uses refrigeration technology in reverse to heat the water. A small electric booster motor can be powered by a solar cell for the complete environmental package.
The prototype currently sits in a factory yard in Henderson like an oasis of style is a desert of cast-off boat moulds and other rusting industrial artefacts.
It has been pulled apart and put together about eight times, a process that has lead to refinements and a revised installation timetable.
“We discovered that we needed less people than we thought to erect it, but a little bit longer to do so,” Perrine says. “We now know that it takes a day to erect, a day to assess it, and a day to fix it.”
In a building climate where houses can take 18 months or more to build, it’s still incredibly fast.
The pre-cast concrete sections of the pod are manufactured in the shipbuilding precinct of Henderson by French engineer Serge Picoult’s company Accue which usually builds concrete sections for wharves and other big industrial projects.
Inside the Perrinepod has a built-in stainless steel kitchen, marble and frosted glass bathroom and smooth polished concrete floors, walls and ceilings that give you the feeling of being inside a kind of space ship. The fittings are included in the price of the pod while purpose-designed furniture can be bought separately.’
More pictures: www.perrinepod.com