the way we live

habode prefab


i first read about the habode prefab at cubeme the other day.  designed by new zealand architect rod gibson, this 39’x22′ (850 sqft.) dwelling is an environmentally friendly prefab.  As we’ve discussed before, prefabs are inherently a more sustainable building process as a result of less waste and more quality control, but this prefab furthers the notion of responsible design by incorporating energy saving techniques into the architecture of the dwelling.  some of these design moves include ample sun shading, natural ventilation, and plenty of daylighting.


one fascinating aspect to the habode is the ability to be transported to the site (which could very well be anywhere) and almost simply unfolded.  mr. gibson’s design allows for customization of the unit in materials and fenestration as well as the ability to add solar cells, wind turbines, additional decking, or extra sun shading (in fact, there is a great little animation on the habode’s website demonstrating these features that can be found here).  the habode website says this:

“the challenge that habode has grasped with passion is to provide high quality, potentially self-sufficient, and affordable accommodation alternatives to a range of market environments in australasia, north america, asia, and the pacific rim region. this strategy seeks to generate a significant impact on the way we think about a home, especially in the niche area of re-locatable, recreational homes. this concept also provides for quality accommodation for industry, urban accommodation for the service sectors and rural accommodation, and many other applications for an economical and timely package both permanent and temporary housing.”


the one design aspect that intrigues me the most, however, is the beautiful butterfly roof.  it appears as though its a simply aesthetic choice on the part of the architect.  i really wish this naturally inward curving roof had been used to harvest rainwater that could be incorporated into a greywater system throughout the house.  considering all the other subtle design moves that were made in order to achieve such an energy efficient dwelling it seems remiss to me that this easy passive design move would be overlooked.  nonetheless, i am a huge fan of this structure.  i find it both entirely playful and extremely inviting.  in fact, i may have to investigate the habode further as a thesis case study as a function of it’s flexible nature.

28 October 2007 - Posted by | architecture, green, modern, prefab, society

1 Comment »

  1. To quote the article : “i really wish this naturally inward curving roof had been used to harvest rainwater that could be incorporated into a grey water system throughout the house.”

    Well thats exactly why the roof slopes in. Both ends of the HABODE® have gutters that collect water. There are two HABODE® buildings on the West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand that rely solely on rain collection.

    We have a second building called an ihouz® that also collects water.

    Check out

    Comment by Rod Gibson | 19 July 2009 | Reply

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