July 17, 2011

Tata Group to sell Ikea-like flat packed 'Nano' house for Rs 32,000 (US$720)

India's Tata group will sell a flat-pack house that costs just $700 and can be built in a week.

The Tata group , maker of the $2,500 Nano car, said that the 20-square-metre (215-square-foot) home comes from a pre-fabricated kit that includes doors, windows and a roof.

"We have already prepared two-three different designs based on discussions with users and are gathering more feedback," Sumitesh Das, the head of the project at Tata, told reporters in Hyderabad on Friday.

Tata already has a housing division and develops land and properties.
$300 house discussions, ecodomes and ecoshells

There has been a lot of recent discussions around the idea of $300 houses for the developing world

Factory mass produced houses for the developing world could help to accelerate the improvement of conditions for the worlds poor. Previously there have been ecodome $3200 houses for the poor.

The Eco-Dome is a small home design of approximately 400 square feet (40 sq. meters) interior space. It consists of a large central dome, surrounded by four smaller niches and a wind-scoop, in a clover leaf pattern.

Domes for the world (DFTW) is trying to build ecoshell houses in the developing world

According to a recent United Nations’ report, meeting the housing needs of mass urban migration will require the construction of 96,000 homes a day between now and 2030. According to the UN, our world has 1.6 billion people living in substandard housing and 100 million homeless. During the next thirty years, those living in slums will increase to nearly two billion unless action is taken.

A June 2010 Conference of the UN Centre for Human Settlements reported that our planet now includes 100 million homeless – mostly women and children. And the problem is not just homelessness. At least 600 million people, in developing world cities, live in shelters that are life threatening or health threatening. Every day some 50,000 die as a result of poor shelter, polluted water and inadequate sanitation. India is one of the few developing countries that has tried to count its homeless, finding more than 2.3 million. Western Europe, on the other hand, counts just 6,300 homeless. The percentage of squatter housing, almost always substandard and likely to be headed by women, also shows housing problems in developing countries, especially in cities. Some 5.5 percent of Turkey's households are squatters but 23.3 percent of all households in the capital of Ankara are squatters. In Peru, 5.6 percent of all households are squatters, but 8.1 percent of households in the capital of Lima are squatters.

DFTW constructs simple, thin-shell concrete Domes called “EcoShells.” Built to last over 500 years, EcoShells are impervious to bugs, mold and rot. They are fire-proof and withstand even the most severe hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

Commercialization of the $720 house
"Hopefully, in the next six-eight months we [Tata] should be able to roll it [flat packed $720 house]out in the market nationally."

The basic model of a so-called "Nano" house will cost 32,000 rupees ($720) and will use coconut fibre or jute for wall cladding and interiors. It has a life expectancy of 20 years.

The house, which is being tested in the state of West Bengal, will also be available in a larger 30-square-metre version and with additional features such as a solar panel for the roof and a verandah.

Tata hopes to sell the house to private buyers who have a plot of land available and also to state governments planning mass residential schemes for India's millions of destitute and homeless.

Das said Tata was using advice from panchayats (village councils) to fine-tune the design.

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