Almost overnight, everything changed. The novel COVID-19 altered every part of our day to day—our commute, our place of work, and our spaces of socialization. For our collective safety, we carried out most of our routines virtually. We log in to work, we video-chat friends and we support our favorite shops and local businesses online.
Flexibility has been a winning strategy in tackling the task of adaptation. It’s taken time to find our footing with remote operations. Students, professionals, and seniors alike have had to remain agile as we’ve worked together to engineer the best tools and tactics to flatten the curve and continue our lives without suffering the effects of prolonged isolation.
That agile attitude has turned out to be a sort of superpower. As the months drag on, people gain a better understanding of what they need to be comfortable with. The answer, it turns out, is not an hour-long commute into a bustling, fancy office. For most people, it’s balance—time for friends, a window in the day to fit in a nap or a workout, and a couple of loved ones who live close-by.
When a massive shift in priorities occurs on a global scale, parts of our common practices begin to change. Ripe for reinvention is the way we think about housing, rent, mortgages, and sustainable living. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, the affordable housing equation wasn’t adding up. A recent Harvard University report found more roughly 10.9 million renters across America spending more than 50% of their income on rent in 2018. That number increased by 6 million since 2001. Further, construction activity has over-concentrated on the upper end of the market, and the nation’s low-cost rental market is shrinking in live time.
If there’s one thing we know now, it’s that everything can change. Permanence that breaks the bank is an outdated option that won’t survive long in the new and coming normal. Peoples needs are changing—they need a quiet home office, a space to rent for supplemental income, separate living quarters to house their aging loved ones, or offer an early-career twenty-something a place to call their own before they launch. Whatever the need, it’s apt to change—and our spaces need to be able to keep up when it does.
Freedom Comes In A Box
When life gets smaller, freedom follows. But small doesn’t have to sacrifice style. In the past, ADUs have achieved affordability by cutting some corners, trading a few areas of comfort for a more livable life. A half bath and a cramped kitchenette is a good trade for affordable living, but it’s a trade that’s no longer necessary.
A new construction technology company, Boxabl, has completely re-invented the way ADUs are made, delivered, and installed. Boxabl produces ADU homes in a scalable, automobile style factory, a one-of-a-kind operation amongst its industry peers. Their deployable units can be produced faster, better, and for a fraction of the cost.
With patented technology, Boxabl’s units are foldable—they can be packed up in a truck and delivered to your yard in a box. One unit stands alone as a modular space that has everything you need. For larger projects, two or more units can be stacked together in an endless array of configurations for infinite square footage. They snap together like LEGO blocks, and they only take an hour to install.
A Look Into The Future: The Casita
Having engineered a solution to the transportation problem, Boxabl’s units arrive fully equipped and ready to live in. Priced at an incredibly accessible $49,000, Boxabl’s Casita unit is a 20×20 efficiency studio space, with 8” windows, 9’6” ceilings, and wide plank composite flooring. A kitchen fully-furnished with full-size appliances, a dining room fit to host the whole family, an in-unit washer/dryer, and a full bathroom next to a separated sleeping area, the Casita unit leaves virtually nothing to be desired.
More than just well-designed, the functionality of the Casita is raising the bar in the ADU industry. Inside, all the amenities are there—heating and cooling included. The insulation technology keeps utility bills at an all-time low. Outside, the unit is wind and water-resistant, storm safe, and mold proof.
Last, and arguably most importantly, Boxabl employs sustainable building practices, and these units use only a fraction of the average energy footprint. The tight building envelope with added insulation and thermal bridging technologies requires a significantly smaller cooling and heating system than a traditional home. In the coming years, flexible living is an approach that will offer massive benefits to almost everyone. But if it comes at the cost of the environment, it’s not a viable solution. Boxabl has found the best of both worlds—affordable spaces that sustain the environment, inspire the tenants, and evolve alongside our ever-changing lives.