What if a house could be flat-packed, delivered by truck and rapidly deployed with the help of just a few people? The Hex House aims to make this dream a reality. The Minnesota-based firm Architects for Society created the Hex House, a 510-square-foot home that can easily be scaled and rapidly deployed to provide housing after natural disasters or for refugees.
These off grid modular homes provide victims of natural disasters and refugees with a dignified place to live, either temporarily or over the long-term.
The Hex House is a hexagonal prefab house design made primarily of steel and Structural Insulated Panels.
Structural Insulated Panels, or SIPs, are high-performance panels that have an insulating foam core between two structural facings. In addition to being highly durable, these panels are cost-effective and energy efficient. SIPs offer exceptional airtightness and insulation. They can be 50% more energy efficient than timber framing. Additionally, their air tightness helps improve indoor air quality.
The home’s simple design makes it easy to ship flat-packed and to be delivered by truck.
The hexagonal shape allows buyers to connect multiple units and arrange them in a variety of configurations. When joined together, the shared walls enhance the home’s thermal performance.
Architects for Society, a non-profit organization comprised of architects from all over the world, designed the home with natural disasters in mind. The goal was to create a home that could quickly and easily get to the disaster zone and be set up with minimal time and resources. The Hex House is a result of this goal.
The Hex House looks and feels like a traditional home. While it can be quickly assembled, it’s still a highly durable structure that can last 20 years.
The walls of the home are attached to a hexagonal-shaped frame, which has a central support and six perimeter supports. These supports are anchored to a concrete pier foundation.
The roof and wall panels are designed to be self-supporting. Tongue and groove joints allow the components to lock together and form a rigid shell for the home.
Homes also have plans for underground water storage tanks, rainwater harvesting systems and rooftop solar panels. Each home’s thermal insulation is customized based on the geographic location of its installation.
Hex Houses have many sustainable features.
- Rainwater is carried through a conventional gutter and downspout system. From here, the water is filtered into the storage tank below and manually pumped into the house. Point-of-use hand pumps are used for flushing and washing.
- Ventilation shafts are located on opposite sides of the home. Operable baffles allow homeowners to divert air into floor openings, where it travels up the shaft and outside the home.
- Solar panels can be installed for supplementary power. The hexagonal shape of the roof allows for optimal solar panel placement.
Hex House Specs
Hex House units can be combined to create bigger spaces with green outdoors areas, courtyards and porches. Currently, three base options are available to accommodate families of many sizes.
- 510 square feet of space
- 2 bedrooms
- 1 bathroom
- Kitchen, living room and porch
- 1,020 square feet of space
- 3 bedrooms
- 1 bathroom
- Kitchen, living, dining room and porch
- 1,530 square feet of space
- 3 large bedrooms
- 2 bathrooms
- Kitchen, dining, living room and porch
The interior of the home offers simple but elegant options for finishes, which include:
- Roofing: Cedar shingles, fiber cement tiles, corrugated metal, asphalt shingles, standing seam metal and solar panel modules
- Exterior Walls: Cedar shakes, corrugated metal, cedar siding, trespa panels, fiber cement board and zinc panel
- Interior Walls: Painted OSB, finished OSB and finished plywood
- Flooring: Hardwood, luxury vinyl, ceramic tile, painted OSB, sealed plywood, sealed OSB, stained plywood and slate tile
- Kitchen: Stainless steel racks and butcher block counters
Its inhabitants can assemble homes with very little training and just a few simple tools. According to Architects for Society, a single Hex House:
- Takes 5-8 days to install and be weather tight
With its easy assembly and shipping, the Hex House is a viable solution for many of the issues found with the temporary refugee shelters available today.
How Much Does a Hex House Cost?
Architects for Society’s modular hexagonal house costs between $15,000 and $35,000 for each unit. The cost will ultimately depend on the chosen finishes, location and other factors.
The Hex House is a smart and viable solution for refugee shelters. Homes come in kit form that can easily be assembled by the inhabitants in days rather than months. Families can live in a place that feels like a home rather than a temporary tent that frequently needs to be replaced. Best of all, these homes are sustainable and eco-friendly, allowing families to get back on their feet without making a big environmental impact.
Visit Hex-House.com for more info.