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