Homes can be expensive in Beijing, so a woman known as Mrs. Fan ended up living in a small and dilapidated house in the courtyard of her parent’s residence outside the city. She still wanted to live near her family, but also desired a modern home at an affordable price.
After the People’s Architecture Office (PAO), a local firm, heard about her story, it designed her a Plug-in House in December 2016.
With just $A13,060 worth of materials and a hex wrench, a construction team can build the Plug-in House in less than 24 hours, PAO’s principal, James Shen, tells Business Insider. The pre-fab home features a proprietary design that’s similar to a renovation system the firm designed in early 2016.
Check it out below.
Mrs. Fan lives there with her son. They used to live in a one-story house on the site, but it was falling apart. That home was demolished before the Plug-in House's construction. Here's a before and after.
Anyone can construct a Plug-in House 'The structure is built without any machinery and does not require specialised labour,' Shen says.
Its construction doesn't require much skilled labour, and the panels are cut off-site to reduce cost.
The Plug-in House's construction is similar to that of PAO's Courtyard House, a ready-made retrofit launched in 2016 that updates homes while still preserving historical style.
Unlike the Courtyard Houses, 20 of which were subsidized by the Beijing government, the first Plug-in home was funded by Mrs. Fan.
So far, the PAO has built two Plug-in homes, with plans for more.
Shen sees the project as a low-cost housing solution for residents who don't have a lot of money to spend on a new home. 'Because the Plug-in House can be conveniently flat-packed, shipped, and put together, we can build it in remote locations that are usually difficult to build in,' he says.
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