We love the concept of tiny houses, but they can’t be shipped everywhere in the world. Prefabricated homes are a great alternative to constructing a house pillar-by-pillar. The components are manufactured and put together as much as possible before it gets delivered to you. After that, the home is assembled like Legos. Kiss House is a new prefab home on the market that comes in up to four bedrooms and assembles in days.
It comes with a passive house certification and an award: “Best House in the U.K. (up to 2,500 square feet).” Architect Adrian James completed the first version of the house in 2014 with Passivhaus specialist Mike Jacob. The two worked to turn the “Sandpath House” from a two-story home into a replicable prefabricated home. The Kiss House ships flatpack to anywhere in the world.
Kiss House’s Sustainable Promise
James and Jacob built the house using cross-laminated timber (CLT). CLT is a sustainable material alternative to the traditional building methods, like concrete or steel. The house is also extremely efficient in energy expenditure. Jacob says, “Each Kiss House is a certifiable Passivhaus. This is the international gold standard for energy efficiency in construction. Passivhaus buildings have exceptional comfort and very low running costs. There is no better standard for energy or comfort performance.”
The Passivhaus standard was developed by Professors Bo Adamson of Sweden and Wolfgang Feist of Germany in the 1990s. Passivhaus describes itself as “a holistic low energy design concept.” Features include high insulation, passive solar gains and thermal mass, air-tightness of a building, and natural indoor air circulation.
There are several versions of the home: Kiss 2.1, Kiss 3.1, and Kiss 4.1. Kiss 2.1 is 861 square feet (80 sq m) and has two bedrooms. Kiss 3.1 comes with three bedrooms and is 1,334 square feet (124 sq m). And Kiss 4.1, you guessed it, comes with four rooms. It’s 1,507 square feet (140 sq m), which is a relatively large home for a typical family in the United States.
Getting Your Home Shipped To You
Home pieces are manufactured and sent to your home in a series of “panels,” which combine to form your home. After all of the pieces get to your plot of land, a concrete slab is prepared. The Kiss House then takes three to four days to assemble. The panels are “shipped in an efficient manner – not volumetric which means transporting 3D buildings which isn’t very efficient,” says Jacob. “They are transported by road or sea depending on where in the world our client is. We can ship anywhere and are currently talking to customers all over the world.”
The Kiss House is built around an open-plan concept on the ground floor. The large modern kitchen accents the wooden flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows. Bedrooms and bathrooms are on the second floor. The home is actually 100% airtight, even though it sounds like your home is put together like a puzzle. If you want to customize your home’s exterior, you have several options: traditional masonry (bricks); metal (zinc, copper, or stainless steel); classic rendering or timber (larch, cedar, chestnut or others by request).
“Each Kiss House shell is made from top quality precision engineered CLT which is fast becoming recognized as the optimum method of construction worldwide due its exceptional performance in terms of energy performance; strength; fire, acoustic, and seismic performance and sustainability,” says Jacob. “Huge carefully managed forests mean more trees are planted than cut down, and each Kiss House will regrow in approximately one hour. I know it sounds incredible, but it is simply because the managed forests in Austria are huge and very carefully managed.”
Changing How Homes Are Made
The two founders designed and created each Kiss House on an individual, unique basis. You can choose your interior and exterior materials. Floor plans are flexible. The company can create the home as an empty shell, allowing you to fully personalize the interior. What’s really interesting is that you can reconfigure your home as your family grows. While costs vary by client, the company charged $2,550 per square meter in the UK for a fully fitted home.
The flexibility of this home in changing its layout over time, combined with the premium, eco-friendly materials used, has us excited to hear more about this home over the next few months.