The eco-friendly, small home movement marches on with this offering from Karoleena Homes, the Calgary builder’s first move into prefab and modular housing.
Advertised as a holiday home, backyard studio or laneway house, the Karo Cabin will be factory-built and shipped to a site of the client’s choosing anywhere in North America accessible by road.
What’s a “laneway house”, I hear you cry? In Canada, specifically the west coast in and around the packed metro area of Vancouver, The EcoDensity movement is attempting to increase the residential population per square mile, thereby more effectively reducing the city’s ecological footprint. Encouraging homebuilders to create smaller housing structures on open land in existing lots is one of the key components of the Ecodensity mission statement.
Typically, these efficient homes will front the service lanes running parallel to the actual street, hence “laneway”. The idea caught on in other high density Canadian cities such as Toronto, and in the five years since its inception has spread well south of the border into the US. It’s becoming increasingly common to see secondary structures in place of extensive backyards.
Backyards are becoming opportunistically redundant, it seems, as people become more aware, in urban environments, that a little personal patch of greenery isn’t as ecologically sound as one might initially think. Housing another family on the same square footage of land certainly makes more big-picture ecological sense than raising a few plants.
Impressively advertised as “future-ready”, the base unit (known as Module A, 45′ x 14′) goes for $129,000, which includes a $5,000 appliance package. Other modules, which can standalone or link together, are the Module B (30′ x 14′), Module C (20′ x 14′) and Module X (10′ x 14′).
Movable interior walls lends the design a custom edge not many other modular homes can match. Module A also includes low-flow fixtures, a gas fireplace, a high-efficiency furnace, on-demand hot water and a cantilevered deck.