The Holland-based firm Fiction Factory have recently unveiled a modular home, which is built out of layered cardboard. While the latter is not quite the top choice of building material, the architects claim that the home will last for up to 100 years, which is quite a bold statement. The home is called Wikkelhouse (which translates to “wrapper house”) and due to the modular way of construction, it can be built in virtually any size the owner wants.
Each Wikkelhouse is built out of several modules, which are made of corrugated cardboard glued together by an eco-friendly adhesive. Each module is about 4 ft thick (1.2 m) and provides 54 square feet (5 sq m) of living space, with a ceiling height of 11.5 feet (3.5 m). The cardboard layer is wrapped around each of these modules 24 times. This is done with the aid of a large rotating machine, and the process ensures a strong and sturdy structure, which is also very well insulated.
The cardboard layer is wrapped in a waterproof, breathable film called Miotex and then the exterior is cladded with pine slats. The Miotex layer needs to be replaced every 30 years. Each module weights about 1,100 lbs (500 kg) and they can be disassembled and moved easily, and are more or less fully recyclable.
The modules are designed in a way that makes it easy to use them to build larger homes, while their low weight means that the home does not need a monolithic foundation. The resulting home has a very flexible layout, which can easily be customized to suit any tastes. Plywood is used for the interior paneling, which gives the home a warm and minimalistic aesthetic.
The home can be assembled on site in as little as a day, and windows can be added to the home practically anywhere the owner wants them. The home can also be equipped with a kitchen, and a bathroom with a shower. These facilities are made possible by the use of the so-called “smart home-segments”.
The modules cost $4,500 each, so a 500 square foot (46 sq m) Wikkelhouse would cost around $42,000, which is very affordable. This design is also a great example of how cardboard can make for a great building material.