With a focus on low-maintenance, modern design, simple living and green housing, modular designs are reducing material waste and water usage during the construction process.
Guided by three elements – sleep, play and live – Cape Town based company Ecomo specialises in modular architectural home design and timber frame construction, using sustainable and recycled materials. ‘The construction process is efficient and streamlined,’ says Pietro Russo, architect and director at Ecomo. ‘The panels are made off site and installed on site, minimising the impact on the natural environment.’
The panels are used to create rooms or pods that are fixed onto concrete pile foundations, and are linked together. The advantages of building the modular homes off site include accurate costings, consistent quality control, waste minimisation, reduced on-site construction time and a predictable time frame. The company has reduced offcuts by nearly 50% and, as pre-construction is done in a factory, materials are not susceptible to on-site sun or rain damage.
Insulation and flooring is made from recycled and recyclable material, and maintenance is also low. ‘At a client’s request, we can use a combination of wood with magnesium boards or aluminium-cladding material, neither of which requires maintenance other than re-painting every four to five years, exactly like a plastered wall,’ says Russo.