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Tata’s New Flatpack ‘Nano House’ Can Be Purchased For $US700

Tata Nano House

The company that developed the world’s cheapest car, the Nano (priced at $2,500), is going to have a new invention on the market: the Nano house. Developed by the Tata Group, the Nano house is a prefabricated, flatpack dwelling priced at a mere $700US. At 20 square meters per dwelling, this works out to a bargain price of $3.34 per square foot.

The material for the 20 square meter house includes coconut or jute cladding with complete interior layouts. The house kit, which also includes doors, windows, and a roof, can be assembled in seven days. One can also opt for the upgraded 30 square meter design with optional extras such as a solar energy system and a front verandah.

One of the overarching objectives of the Nano house is to provide affordable shelter to poor populations around the world. As a result, Tata projects that some of its biggest clients will be state governments that require mass residential development for slum-dwellers or homeless people.

However, the large-scale construction of Nano houses is not merely a top-down process. In fact, Tata has incorporated local decision-making in the design phase to ensure that Nano houses are ideally suited for specific local populations. In India, Tata held meetings with local panchayats (local councils) to gather ideas on house style and functionality. The company is presently compiling user feedback from pilot projects in rural India, and hopes to embark on several other pilot projects throughout the year.

Tata Steel is currently holding talks with various manufacturers to set up local facilities throughout India. The hope is that localized manufacturing will help generate employment opportunities for villagers.

The houses are said to have a life expectancy of 20 years.

What are your thoughts on the new Nano house? Do you think it will help fight poverty? Or are there some problems associated with the large-scale implementation of Nano housing “projects”?

Image via Car Advice

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