Flying Spaces, the new passive prefab home

There’s no doubt that living conditions are changing in New Zealand and around the world. We’re becoming more mobile, which calls for more flexible housing solutions. New to New Zealand shores, FlyingSpaces are German passive homes that tread lightly on the Earth, and are an ingeniously simple answer to the changing living and working conditions of our time. We were lucky enough to come across these guys at Rangitahi, and spoke to them about their pioneering top-quality prefab homes, what makes them different to other prefab homes in NZ, and how they’re fit for Rangitahi.

What are FlyingSpaces ?

FlyingSpaces are Passive Modular, Prefabricated homes manufactured in Germany. They are a simple modular design, incorporating minimal corners.  The definition of a Passive House is that heating is conserved due to the energy saving design which is based on a highly insulated and airtight building envelope from the roof to the under floor.

What’s different about them to other prefab houses?

Well the insulation for one – the walls are filled with a unique type of mineral rock-wool insulation. The walls are about twice as thick as a conventional New Zealand design and as a result of a special drying and refinement processes the timber materials do not require any chemical protection. Also, the windows – they are triple glazed and you may have seen them in Europe – they open up both sideways and vertically. To finish, one other aspect that makes FlyingSpaces® different is that they arrive in NZ, completely made up fully fitted out with floor tiles, vanity, kitchen appliances, flooring and a fresh air exchange system all in place ready to use. The interior design details and exterior cladding can all been designed by you with the assistance of Nina Henderson, our spatial designer based here in New Zealand.

The day your FlyingSpace® house arrives on site, after the ingeniously simple foundations have been prepared, you should be able to bring your bed and dining table and sleep in it that night.

Do they have sustainable features? What are they?

Let’s start with the wooden interior structure –timber is sourced from a certified local forestry and processed in FlyingSpace’s own sawmill to produce high-quality quality-tested timber products. Timber offcuts and waste are used to power the company’s own biomass heating power plant which supplies production and heating energy. The green electricity additionally fed into the public grid is sufficient to supply a town of around 60,000 inhabitants – so no forests were harmed in the making of this house.

Interestingly the fact that the FlyingSpace® houses are made on a production line in Germany saves a lot of fuel as different trades people are not having to drive to and from the production site.

There is a range of windows for you to choose from, including floor to ceiling and flat roof windows that provide optimum solar gain heating and natural lighting to take advantage of the beautiful Rangitahi views.

FlyingSpaces® homes can be easily relocated also and they are ‘generational homes’.

What sizes do they come in? Do they work as a small family home?

Absolutely they work as a small family home.  There are so many different options – the ideal for 1 to 2 people is a 63sq metre home. This model combines the compactness of a flat with the benefits of a detached house – 2 bedrooms (one at each end of the house), storage, dining space, lounge, bathroom – all you need.

Are they customisable?

That would be a resounding YES – it is your choice – design your space to your needs with the assistance of a Spatial Designer, Nina Henderson.

How are they built and transported from start to finish?

So, to start with, here is a video showing how the FlyingSpaces® are constructed in Germany (interesting choice of music accompanies the video!)

Basically, they are built on a conveyor belt – once complete they are independently checked that all is correct, wrapped and transported by ship to New Zealand.  This shipping journey takes about one month.  Upon arrival the FlyingSpace® house is independently checked and verified again and transported by truck to be craned into place at its final destination.

Would they be suitable for a sloped site?

Definitely, with some site and foundation works, the FlyingSpaces® homes are able to be placed into a hillside arrangement with another unit placed on top.

What do they cost?

A passive, prefabricated, modular 63sq metre home costs $450,000 including GST. This price also includes a range of other costs including Shipping Costs, Shipping Insurance, Crane hire, foundation works, Power/Plumber reticulation, Council Building Consents, LBP and Engineer.

Interested in learning more about Flying Spaces homes? Contact Jo on 021 14 94 162 or jo@flyingspaces.co.nz.

And check them out on Instagram: @FlyingSpacesNZ

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