World First Flat-Packed, Off-Grid Tiny Home Launching at Sydney Architecture Festival

Big World Homes have developed the very first flat-packed, off-grid tiny home – utilising un-activated urban spaces for transitional pop-up communities – offering a revolutionary solution to Sydney’s housing affordability crisis.

“We’re excited to be launching one of the most progressive, socially oriented, community driven housing projects that Australia has ever seen, at a time when new options in affordable housing have never been more vital,” comments Big World Homes Architect Alexander Symes.

“A transitional housing product that offers a solution to people currently unable to get into home ownership will completely disrupt the housing industry in a way we’ve never seen before.”

“The first of its kind in the world – the Big World Home is portable, completely off-the-grid and can be built by two unskilled people in just a few days using only a hammer and a drill,” explains Symes.

It’s like Ikea, but for houses. This world-first patented technology integrates insulation with the exterior and interior walls, creating panels that are modular, adaptive, cheap, durable and easy to install.

Big World Homes is challenging the notions of house ownership being intrinsically linked to the huge costs of land ownership by negotiating with developers, councils and individual landowners for eligible, off-grid home owners (or tenants) to come together to create pop-up communities on unused development sites or vacant land.

Australia’s five major metropolitan cities have been classified as ‘severely unaffordable’ for the past 11 years, with Australia being ranked second to Hong Kong for housing costs, according to the 2016 Demographia annual report into property markets which states that the typical house in Sydney currently costs more than $1 million – a whopping 5.6 times the median household income.

By dis-locating land costs and labour expenses, a Big World Home cuts up to 80% of the typical costs of a similar stand-alone dwelling, coming to the market at AUD$60-80k per home – disrupting the housing market with a revolutionary new form of affordable transitional housing.

“The generational gap is widening, wages are declining, relative prices increasing, and most mortgages continue to go to existing home owners.” Comments Dr Joanne Jakovich, Co-innovator of Big World Homes and Founder of Strategic Open Urbanism Platform (SOUP).

“The re-thinking of ‘space’ and ‘wealth’ is to housing what the sharing economy was to capitalism – Big World Homes has an expansive effect, creating a new life and new communities in the city. “
The incentive behind these homes lies in the challenges for the younger generation in breaking into the housing market, faced with declining wages, increasing relative prices and the difficulty of obtaining mortgages.

“It will basically free people to live how they want to live, rather than being chained to assets,” comments Bruce Jeffreys, Co-founder of GoGet and Dresden Optics.

The tiny home comes completely fitted out internally with a living room, bed, running water and a plumbed bathroom.  The entire structure is self sufficient and totally ‘off-grid’ with solar panels providing electricity and running water sourced from inbuilt rainwater tanks, and is mounted on a trailer, meaning it is completely portable.

The project is seeking to crowd-source and crowd-fund the very first Big World Homes tiny house through:

  • Product Testers – be one of the first people in the world to trial a Big World Home with a weekend’s accommodation.
  • Innovators – join the Big World Homes Innovation Lab to work together to envision, design and troubleshoot the dynamic future of housing.
  • Buy your very own Big World Home and become a pioneer in the new future of housing in Australia.

Designed by architect Alexander Symes, the first tiny home will be built in a workshop by a group of non-skilled volunteers over a couple of hours using only a hammer and a drill, on Thursday 29 September at The Commune, 901 Bourke St, Waterloo from 1:30pm until 5pm.

The completed Big World Home will then be driven to the Sydney Architecture Festival Hub at Central Park where it will be on public display for the duration of the Festival from 30 September until 3 October.

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