Is buying a house a pipe dream? Cindy's blog Jan. 18.2018

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When I research my blogs there are just so many topics to write about these days. There is climate change, waste, straws…well, you know, as you have read all of my blogs (right?) This time I am going write with a little less fervor and tell you about a new craze that may be the future of housing and certainly has a small environmental footprint! Houses, in general, have a large footprint but one unusual design that I came across does not.

The OPod Tube House, by James Law Cybertecture, is a micro house made from concrete water piping that measures just 2.5 m (8.2 ft) in diameter. Access is gained by a glazed door and inside it comprises a total floorspace of just 100 sq ft (9.29 sq m). Its “cozy” interior features an apartment-style layout suitable for one or two people. It is a tiny home. The design concept takes a strong concrete structure and converts it into an apartment for one (or two) with elfin living, cooking, and bathroom facilities squeezed inside a 100-square-foot interior.

A second section of concrete pipe is connected at the rear to provide a kitchenette and small bathroom with shower and toilet. The bathroom is designed so it serves as the shower stall and water runs into a drain.

Each tube house is equipped with smartphone locks for online access. Space-saving, micro-living furniture has been built into the side of the pipe to make the interiors feel a bit roomier.

Each OPod will cost around US$15,000 (not including the cost of land, I assume) and be used to house people temporarily while they wait for bigger accommodation or if they are dedicated to being a minimalist and want a tiny space with a tiny footprint.

The creator envisions the OPod being installed in urban areas unsuitable for standard construction, such as narrow alleyways between buildings, for example. Multiple units could be stacked atop each other, with simple metal stairways providing access. Cities like New York would welcome these as they have a rental and space crisis.

The pipes could become a low-rise building as part of a modular community. Not much is needed in the way of construction, making quick-and-easy installation possible. I know railway cars are being turned into living spaces but now we have found a use for concrete pipes-how long would you last living in one? Next time you pass a construction site and see large concrete pipes, imagine living in it!

I also found this photo of Melbourne’s Prahran Hotel Pub which also used concrete pipes. Who knew?