In our multi-storey, but dacha country, the dream of many people is to live outside the city, and some, although not all, urbanists - to change the principle of residential development, the priority of which, alas, continues to be panel giants. A good addition, and maybe an alternative to a panel city apartment, is a modular frame house. The solution, which has long been popular in the West, is gradually gaining strength in Russia; since some, relatively recent times, architects have also begun to deal with the lines of modular houses. We have already talked with Roman Leonidov and Ivan Ovchinnikov about their NEWOOD and DublDom projects.
In early March, at the permanent exhibition of wooden houses "Low-rise Russia" (Kashirskoye sh., 63 building 1), a sample of a modular house-Ark was installed: the smallest modification of a prefabricated frame house developed by the Arch-Project-3 bureau Vladimir Yuzbashev and Natalia Brailovskaya calls house-Ark-3. The architects plan to show their house at the "Country House" exhibition in the Expo Center (March 10-13, 2016). We asked the authors of the series of small, affordable homes a few questions.
When did you get the idea to make a modular house and when did you start working?
Vladimir Yuzbashev and Natalya Brailovskaya, Arch-Project-3:
- We have had experience in designing frame houses since 2013. In 2014, a client came to us and ordered the development of a line of modular frame houses for production. we offered sketch solutions for several types of houses, different in area - plans, facades, sections. And the technological project was developed by the production workers themselves. We didn’t like the result - both the build quality and the details that the builders brought in.
However, we liked the idea of a fully finished prefabricated house - one that can be brought to the place, installed and immediately lived in it. In addition, we received proposals to develop a series of houses for specific sites. We got carried away, began to think what could have been done better. This is how the idea came about to make our own line of houses - the next generation of Arks, with thoughtful design and technological solutions. We found a private investor to promote the Ark and agreed to produce a new series of houses.
In 2015, the frame corner house, which we designed and built, became a laureate of the Under the Roof of a House festival in the category of a realized country house.
What are the differences between the "Ark House" from other similar modular houses? Its marketing benefits?
- The main advantage is a house, thought out and completely, in detail, thought out by architects. Therefore, it combines the appearance of a residential building built according to an individual project with the convenience of construction that modular technology gives us. We wanted the house to look like a unique work of authorship, but for this architectural quality to be affordable. The interiors are also made according to a professional design project: selected lamps, plumbing, mosaic in the bathroom. Each of our houses is thought out and focused on making everything comfortable and functional; functions are clearly zoned. Even our smallest house-Ark-3 (37 m2) can be an alternative to a city apartment or a guest house, it is designed for comfortable family living, it has everything you need - a spacious kitchen-living room, two bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower, a sink, toilet bowl, hallway.
Houses are manufactured in the factory with the quality of assembly of industrial furniture, using environmentally friendly materials: the main material is wood, and for insulation we use basalt wool, unlike other manufacturers who use expanded polystyrene and plastic panels in the walls.
And unlike the common cheap solution of modular summer houses, the ark house is perfectly insulated and suitable for year-round living. The thickness of the insulation in the walls is 150 mm, in the ceiling and floor - 200 mm. And, as befits in frame houses, the composition of the walls and the entire contour of the house includes vapor barrier, vapor-moisture protection. Double-glazed windows of 45 mm are installed, while usually manufacturers install double-glazed windows with a width of 30-42 mm.
Finishing inside and outside - imitation of a bar, pine.
What kind of wood do you use for the frame? How dry it is, does it threaten to dry out?
- We use production-dried pine, planed and polished wood. Even the frame of the house, which is nowhere to be seen, we assemble from planed timber 50x150 mm and 100x150 mm. We use such a bar even in one-story houses, while other companies use a board with a thickness of 30 mm for the frame of two-story houses. The spacing of the frame racks in our ark houses is 600 mm.
Drying of frame houses is not threatened - this is a problem of log cabins; in frame houses, boards are attached to each other at different angles, so they are insured against the consequences of drying out. They are also not affected by shrinkage, since the frame is lighter than the frame.
How quickly do you assemble and install the house?
The house is completed in production conditions within 3-4 weeks - modules with engineering, windows, doors, plumbing, finishing are assembled. A pile screw foundation is arranged on the site, the modules are joined, the house is connected to external networks, and a folded roof is covered. The entire installation of the house on the site takes 3-5 days. We will help our clients with connecting the house to utilities, selecting and installing furniture, arranging a sauna or bath.
How many options do you offer now and what is their price with installation?
- Currently, four types of one-story houses of different sizes and layouts have been developed: starting from the aforementioned "Kovcheg-3" of three modules, 37.2 m2 - it costs 1.35 million rubles, and before the "Ark-6", which consists, respectively, of six modules, has an area of 75.3 m2 and costs 2.7 million rubles. The declared value includes a house with exterior and interior decoration, electrical wiring, a shield, sockets and switches, lamps, plumbing and sewerage, plumbing in the bathroom, a 50 liter boiler and installation of the house on the site. Pile screw foundations are paid separately, for Ark-3 it is approximately 50,000 rubles, for Ark-6 - 100,000 rubles, to be specified depending on the relief and soil; as well as delivery and heating system from electric convectors or gas heating point.
In addition to residential buildings, the House-Ark series includes baths and guest houses, as well as pergolas, terraces, verandas and utility blocks.
What communications must be present on the site so that the “Ark-House” can be installed there?
- The site must have engineering support: electricity, water, sewerage. These can be city communications, or they can be autonomous. We can help the client with the installation of a well / well and a septic tank.
How are things going with cleaning a flat roof from snow?
- Our houses have a small roof slope - 8%. This slope is enough for water to drain. Snow can lie on the roof, the snow load is taken into account when designing the house. For structural reliability during temperature changes in winter, the roof is made using folded technology: metal sheets are securely fastened into locks, and not overlapped, as most house manufacturers on the market use today. It's a laborious process, but that's how we do it.
The lathing under the metal roof is made according to the classical scheme - a board 20 mm thick is sewn with a gap of 20 mm. A super-diffusion membrane is placed under the crate. Such a roof cake provides reliable and convenient operation in all weather conditions, guarantees protection against leaks, makes it possible to clean the roof if the house is in a forest area and foliage or needles fall on it.
What other options for modular houses do you consider your competitors?
- We believe that the house should be created by architects, not builders. Only an architect can think over every little detail, take into account the aesthetic qualities of the building, and the technology, and the quality of the dwelling, and convenience. It is always clear whether a house was built according to an architectural project or not. And the house that is created by architects, not builders, always wins.
In Europe, modular houses are quite popular - convenient, comfortable housing, a house that can be quickly bought and delivered, and, if necessary, moved to another place. In our country, modular housing construction is not very developed, construction companies offer modular houses along with other types of residential buildings and, as a rule, do not have a ready-made specific proposal, a single style, as we offer.
What do you admire as a prototype?
- From the very beginning, the Ark House was designed as housing in a modern style: comfortable, laconic, thoughtful. Its shape is determined by the capabilities of modern technologies. We define the style of the house as Scandinavian - many projects made in the Nordic countries have been studied as prototypes. The factory quality of the Ark houses corresponds to the technological and environmental standards of the Canadian housing construction.
The Corner House-Ark-6 is not like a modular house, but an individual one. In general, I have no idea how to carry the modules of your spacious living room by car. Why do you need a corner? On the models, the six-module house is shown completely orthogonal; which option will you offer customers, a corner house or a straight bar?
- Indeed, the corner house-Ark-6 was designed as an individual house and was built simply using frame technology. Moreover, we have completed a complete project with a drawing of each board and each abutment, each detail. Everyone liked it very much and we released a project of the same house, but in modular technology. The house will be assembled in modules and delivered ready-made to the site and will look individual.
Where are the built samples of the series that we see in the photographs and the plan, who lives in it and for how long?
- Now the third house-Ark is being assembled in production, and two have been installed, both six-module ones, these are the Ark-6 houses. The first house in the Istra district, it has successfully overwintered for two years, a family with one child lives in it. The second is in the Vladimir region, a family with two children lives in it, it was installed in the fall, wintering for the first time. Customers are a little over thirty years old, one of them is a mobile application designer.