Are Prefabricated Homes Covered in Greenery The Next Big Thing?
Green roofs have a double meaning when they’re often covered in plants: They’re verdant, and they’re eco-friendly. They bring down the temperature of the roof, reducing energy use and making things more comfortable for those inside. When found atop a tall building, it’s sort of like having a garden in the sky. When Green Magic Homes makes its green-covered houses, they look like something out of the Shire.
The prefab houses are meant to blend in with the scenery, as long as you live in an idyllic meadow. They may look a little out of place on your average suburban block. Modules are made of FRP, or Fiber Reinforced Polymer. Three people can apparently put together the pieces in about three days for the smallest (nearly 405 square feet) home. Screws, epoxy and polyurethane adhesives and sealants keep everything together and adhere the panels to concrete beams that serve as the base. A 20- or 40-foot container arrives at your soon-to-be home, containing the structural components, wooden doors and windows, galvanized steel screws, and an elastomeric sealant.
The FRP, which makes up 95 percent of the home, is waterproof, important when you’re growing a garden on top. Designed to hold the weight of about 7.8 inches worth of soil and plants, the house could even support bushes, according to Green Magic Homes. Its designs are in compliance with the International Building Code, the company states.
There are a variety of predesigned homes, including the 405-square-foot Waikiki and the 1,917-square-foot Mediterraneo. The bigger homes cost $34.74 per square foot; the smaller ones are a bit more expensive. The Waikiki will set you back around $14,998. It could be a tiny home, or a gym, or office separate from your dwelling. The $66,596 Mediterraneo is a four-bedroom, four-bathroom house that happens to look like a dome home reclaimed by nature. The earthquake-resistant homes should be covered with native plants to make them virtually maintenance-free.
The Florida-based company says it ships its prefab modules all over the world from its plant in Cancun, Mexico.