Innovation

Weird Commerce: True Off-The-Grid Housing

It’s the end of the world as we know it … or is it not?

There’s something to be said for being fully prepared to go completely off the grid. Whether it’s a bunker to escape a possible nuclear holocaust or a simple cabin in the woods to get some peace and quiet, having the ability to go unnoticed on a moment’s notice can be enticing.

One company that’s looking to help move the needle for those who enjoy autonomous living is Ukraine-based 3-D house printing company, PassivDom. PassivDom’s homes are entirely constructed by 3-D printing and enable people to not be reliant upon electricity or gas companies to help power and heat spaces. Of note, the materials used in PassivDom homes can withstand incredible heat and cold temperatures.

In the case of a future apocalypse, it may be worth investing in a home with autonomous capabilities. We sat down with PassivDom’s CEO, Maks Gerbut, to discuss how the company was formed and its plans for the future of off-the-grid homes. To help with the story of inspiration of founding and developing a company like PassivDom, Gerbut shared four main contributing factors, which include creating a house in which anybody can live away from civilization, climate change, high amount of time and money spent on construction, and natural disaster safety concerns.

In terms of providing complete autonomy to people, he said, “Absolute autonomy means freedom from electricity transmission lines, gas pipelines and plumbing. PassivDom is an off-grid house that uses only solar energy to satisfy its inhabitants’ needs: climate control (heating and cooling), water generated from air humidity, air quality and carbon dioxide control. The house also produces PV electricity for all household appliances.”

One of the more unique aspects of the house is that it can be transported anywhere. What does this mean for the future of living in terms of potential climate-changing elements?

Having a nomadic home that’s not reliant upon harsh chemicals or materials brings societal living to a new level. If homes like this become the go-to houses to buy, it’s possible that it could contribute to a greener, thriving world.

Gerbut discussed the company’s goal to become more in tune with climate change and how its 3-D-printed homes are enabling a positive change.

He said, “Now PassivDom is the world’s first off-grid mobile zero energy house for a cold and hot climate. Due to the use of advanced materials and unique developments by our engineers, PassivDom has the highest thermal performance among residential buildings. Walls of PassivDom are as warm as brick, being 7.33 m thick. Thermal characteristics are high enough to use 20 times less energy than an ordinary building. That’s why it is possible to realize full off-grid autonomy in a cold climate without complex and expensive engineering heating system.”

Moving into 2017, PassivDom’s plans include attending Burning Man to test out its 3-D-printed home in desert conditions and then launching a U.S.-based factory in Nevada later in the year. Gerbut highlighted the company’s long-term goals to help make PassivDom a truly global company.

He said, “The long-term ambition of PassivDom is to make the manufacturing franchise the core business line of the company. PassivDom manufacturing franchise is attractive to manufacturers because they are currently competing in the ‘red ocean’ and have no capability to provide innovative housing offers to the clients. These manufacturers usually concentrate on a narrow market segment (prefab, mobile or modular housing). PassivDom will offer prefab/mobile/modular housing producers a franchise to start manufacturing and selling PassivDom houses. We will target large companies that have a strong market position and regional presence in the target countries.”

As PassivDom tends to receive various requests for non-mobile housing construction, Gerbut indicated there are plans to move outside of its initial offering. He said, “Our technology is flexible, so in the future, probably, we will expand our activity on stationary and multi-level buildings.”

The technology behind PassivDom’s 3-D-printed houses allows for the possibility of sustainable living. It’s likely that anyone invested in preserving the future of the planet will see this type of offering as a major coup for environmentalism as a whole. And who knows … maybe we’ll all survive a zombie attack with these seemingly indestructible homes of the future.

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