India's Tata group to sell $700 flat-pack house

Jul 17, 2011
The Indian company that launched the world's cheapest car has unveiled its latest product for the fast-growing nation: a flat-pack house that costs just $700 and can be built in a week.

The Indian company that launched the world's cheapest car has unveiled its latest product for the fast-growing nation: a flat-pack house that costs just $700 and can be built in a week.

The , maker of the $2,500 Nano , said that the 20-square-metre (215-square-foot) home comes from a pre-fabricated kit that includes doors, windows and a roof.

"We have already prepared two-three different designs based on discussions with users and are gathering more feedback," Sumitesh Das, the head of the project at Tata, told reporters in Hyderabad.

"Hopefully, in the next six-eight months we should be able to roll it out in the market nationally."

The basic model of a so-called "Nano" house will cost 32,000 rupees ($720) and will use coconut fibre or jute for wall cladding and interiors. It has a life expectancy of 20 years.

The house, which is being tested in the state of West Bengal, will also be available in a larger 30-square-metre version and with additional features such as a solar panel for the roof and a verandah.

Tata hopes to sell the to private buyers who have a plot of land available and also to state governments planning mass residential schemes for India's millions of destitute and homeless.

Das said Tata was using advice from panchayats (village councils) to fine-tune the design.

The Nano car drew worldwide attention when it was launched in 2009, but sales figures have not met expectations due to production delays and safety issues.

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User comments : 8

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Telekinetic
4.4 / 5 (7) Jul 17, 2011
Let's see, if Tata group melded the Nano car and the Nano house together, you'd have a pretty cool RV for only $3,220.
I paid way too much for my Winnebago.
David_Wishengrad
3 / 5 (2) Jul 17, 2011
Structures for living should be safe, strong, recycleable, have the best R-Values available and last a very, very long time.
Here is what we are doing:
http://www.facebo...91807416
http://picasaweb....ianBuilt
Shootist
3 / 5 (2) Jul 17, 2011
Safe, strong, recycle-able, best R-values, last a long time.

Use shipping containers. 8'4"x8'4"x20' stack up to 17 high. And the containers are nearly free.

http://www.thedai...s-460309
Cave_Man
1 / 5 (1) Jul 17, 2011
Safe, strong, recycle-able, best R-values, last a long time.

Use shipping containers. 8'4"x8'4"x20' stack up to 17 high. And the containers are nearly free.

http://www.thedai...s-460309


I don't like the idea of living in an iron oxide factory.
Magnette
not rated yet Jul 18, 2011
Safe, strong, recycle-able, best R-values, last a long time.

Use shipping containers. 8'4"x8'4"x20' stack up to 17 high. And the containers are nearly free.

http://www.thedai...s-460309


Apart from the iron oxide issues which mean that the containers wouldn't last the twenty year expected life span of the houses unless they were treated (expensive)there is also the issue that they aren't cheap. In the UK you can expect to pay up to four times the cost of a nano house for a secondhand 20ft container.
The rising price of scrap steel has pushed the cost of shipping containers up quite a bit in the last couple of years.
orsat
not rated yet Jul 18, 2011
In 2003 a friend bought a new container from China. It cost ~£3000 delivered to the the nearest rail station in the SW UK. It was made of a steel with > 0.2% copper in the alloy. This gave it superior resistance to weather corrosion. Still looks good.
Huyton
not rated yet Jul 18, 2011
Friend of mine has one in Chile...bought it for just a bit more than it cost to ship an empty one back to China. Customizations cost a bit more, but on the whole, it is very cheap accomodation, and since it's in the Atacama desert ( the driest spot on the planet outside of Antarctica), his iron oxide issue is essentially non-existant.
NotAsleep
not rated yet Jul 19, 2011
I'm not a huge fan of small Tata's