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Simplifying and minimizing is the key to more sustainable living, and it’s always nice to see cool new housing developed with this in mind. The Japanese firm MUJI recently unveiled yet another new prefab design called the Vertical House, which is simple, affordable and environmentally-friendly, and has a very tiny footprint.

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The Vertical house measures only 37.7 feet (11.5 meters) by 19 feet (5.8 meters) and rises three stories. The plan of the house is exceedingly simple, with a utilities room and storage area on the ground floor, an open plan living area on the second floor and a sleeping area on the third. The home features very few interior walls, which makes this home appear much more spacious that its total area would suggest.

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The home is well insulated, which keeps the temperature in the house quite stable for the whole day and night. The overall design is also aimed at maximizing the energy efficiency of the home. A single split air conditioner is located on the third floor, so that cool air drops down along the stairwell and cools the entire home.

The home is constructed out of glulam columns and beams, which are fastened together by technologically advanced fasteners. This method of construction is different than more traditional wooden construction, and designed with the aim of creating a very strong frame for the home. This is also achieved via a special processing of the timber, which allows it to fit together more tightly and prevents the building from twisting, or become otherwise damaged in the event of a natural disaster such as an earthquake.

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Due to the simple construction method and natural materials used for the construction, the home will likely sell for an affordable price. But the question remains of how durable this home is in the long term. It is a Japanese cultural custom to exchange most things for new versions after just a few years of use, which could mean that the Vertical House only has a few years of good living in it.