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Incremental Housing 2.0

 Building in Increments: An Owner-driven Process in Community Housing

Fisher Cheng has been exploring a flexible housing system that can be easily and quickly assembled and adapted to a variety of given sites. 

There is a need for new initiatives and creative organisations to push forward with building affordable homes, such as community land trusts and self builders. To help this happen, a housing design that is cost effective and meets the needs of a variety of users; young couples, growing families, retirees should be developed. One solution could be modular incremental housing; where there is flexibility in the design to allow the resident to expand their homes as and when their needs require


Using readily available universal beam sections, precast concrete plinths and a cast ‘shoe’ element that can be mass produced, the structural framework can be quickly assembled on site without the requirement of specialist trades. Off the shelf circular hollow sections can be cut to the required length to adapt to most site conditions. 

It is proposed that the structure is set to a 3m x 3m x 3m grid, allowing for living accommodation to arrive as self-sufficient units that plug into the main frame. Each plug-in unit therefore comes in modules of 3.1m x 2.7m, allowing for a net internal area of around 7m². These can be configured in a multitude of ways allowing for the organic growth of a home in accordance to the owner’s needs through a dynamic, three-dimensional process.