Meet the Prefab Unit That's Smart, Mobile, and Sustainable

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By Charlotte West
These self-sufficient, modular prefab housing units from Germany offer smart home technology and are designed to meet the Passive House Standard.

Six years ago, German entrepreneur Mark Dare Schmiedel rediscovered his love of nature when he moved to the countryside to build his own loft house along the banks of the River Spree to escape from the hustle and bustle of Berlin. The relocation prompted him to consider whether there might be a way to build a similar, but more mobile, home that would offer the same kind of retreat. 

Schmiedel came across a mobile living concept that had been designed by a group of Slovenian architects who called themselves Coodo. He purchased the design rights and began to produce the prefabricated modular housing units through his Hamburg-based company, LTG Lofts to Go. 

A residential project in Bielefeld, Germany features an outdoor patio. 

A residential project in Bielefeld, Germany features an outdoor patio. 

The Coodo, which features a curved, minimalistic steel frame and floor-to-ceiling glass walls, has a limited footprint and can easily be installed on any plot. The unit’s shell is made of glass fiber-reinforced steel, and its inner walls conceal its heating, cooling, and power systems to create a smooth, seamless interior. 

Coodo 64 comes equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. 

Coodo 64 comes equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. 

The various models can be configured to function as a retail or office space—or even a sauna. The residential versions range from a sleep pod to a one-bedroom loft, and a two-story version is currently under development. An optional pergola also allows extra space with an outdoor patio.  

Coodo's glass walls let in a lot of natural light.

Coodo's glass walls let in a lot of natural light.

Perhaps what distinguishes Coodo from other modular units is its use of smart home technology and adherence to Passive House standards without any need for external heating. Three-pane glass and high-tech insulation help maintain its energy efficiency, while the use of recyclable materials limits its environmental impact. Users can control shutters and LED lights from their smart phones. The unit also features an electronic card reading access system for security and automatic blinds for privacy.  

Coodo integrates space-saving features like a fold-out bed.  

Coodo integrates space-saving features like a fold-out bed.  

According to Schmiedel, they are developing a new hydraulic system with optional wheels so that future Coodo units can be even more mobile. Also in the works is a "self-sustainability unit," which will allow Coodo to be entirely off-the-grid.  

Coodo 64's bathroom has built-in storage. 

Coodo 64's bathroom has built-in storage. 


The newest model, Coodo 23, is currently under development and will feature a 248-square-foot plan. 

The newest model, Coodo 23, is currently under development and will feature a 248-square-foot plan. 


Coodos come with an optional outdoor pergola featuring a patio made of recyclable deck planks.

Coodos come with an optional outdoor pergola featuring a patio made of recyclable deck planks.


Coodo 23

Coodo 23


Coodo 23

Coodo 23


Coodo 23

Coodo 23


Coodo 23

Coodo 23