Builder Barry Jackson, 52, has created an alternative form of housing that is both efficient and affordable.
Jackson had been considering how to create a “man cave” on his property for his drum kit and photography equipment, when he thought of constructing a series of six-sided rooms which could be built and attached together in a honeycomb design.
The result, some three years later, is the Hivehaus, hexagonal rooms each of 100 square feet attached together to form a personalized building. It can be erected in four to five days by three builders, has no foundations, and can be used as a study, garden room, gym and possibly even transportable housing.
Jackson said that the identical structures use standard off-the-shelf materials. A three-unit Hivehaus costs about 6,000, offering an affordable alternative for people hoping to own their own home.
“A lot of young people won’t ever have that chance that I had. They are still living with their parents in their 30s. It delays having families because people don’t feel that they belong anywhere, because they are stuck in some rental trap.
“The more I developed this idea, the more I saw that this could be developed for good and hopefully help people who can’t get on the housing ladder,” he said.
“I see the whole concept as DIY architecture allowing individuals to configure and build their own unique structures based on a selection of uniformly sized components,” Jackson wrote, “a little like a child’s construction kit.”
The wooden frame floor sits on feet that adjustable to compensate for uneven ground. Electrical wiring runs through the floor and lights are remote-controlled so there are no switches in the walls.
As well as the hexagonal spaces, Jackson has also developed smaller diamond shaped rooms with bathroom fittings. Decking in similar structured patterns can be used to make an outside area.
“How it is constructed is not how we have always had to – filling the ground full of concrete, bricks and mortar. I tried to take this back to the simplest form,” he said.
In theory, two or three units could be bought by a young couple who could then add to them over time as their financial circumstances improve, he said. “The house grows with your circumstances. It suits your circumstances.
“With this idea, every module is the same size and you think of the module as a space which you use for whatever – if you need another bedroom, you add another module,” Jackson added.
“Housing should not be the way that it is now. It is a necessity I believe so everybody should be able to afford housing and be able to budget for housing,” Jackson further stated.
The Scandinavian-style buildings will not be for everyone. “This really is a lifestyle choice because it is a lot more minimal, a lot simpler and ‘I have not got all that money going out all the time, I can now do the hobbies that I want to do, I can travel’,” he said.