The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 1 - October 19, 2011


Nano House provides affordable shelter

I've written about living in small spaces before, but apparently I must have been either a cave dweller or resided in a tree house in a former life because the concept of living with less is a continuing source of fascination. My latest attraction in this area is the Nano House, the definitive less is more statement.

Nano, if you recall, is the name of the world's cheapest car priced at $2,500. This four passenger vehicle was the brain child of an Indian company called Tata Motors, a division of Tata Group, and was developed in 2009 for the Indian market. Now as an extension of its scaled down vehicle, the Tata Group is building scaled down prefabricated dwellings.

The smallest of the Nano dwellings is 20 square meters or 215 square feet priced at $3.34 per square foot or approximately $700. It comes in a flatpack kit including coconut or jute cladding with complete interior layouts. It also includes doors, windows and a roof and can be assembled in seven days. There are slightly larger versions at 30 square meters with extras like solar energy and verandahs with a life expectancy of 20 years for all the dwellings.

The objective of the company is to provide affordable shelter to poor populations around the world. Since it is an Indian company, it was natural for it to work with the local municipalities in India in developing its homes with the ultimate goal of marketing to state governments that require mass residential development for disadvantaged populations.

The Nano House is the subject of a new book called "Nano House Innovations for Small Dwellings," by Phyllis Richardson. In the book, Richardson talks about the need for sustainable, economical shelter that will preserve the landscape and built as light as possible, particularly in impoverished parts of the world. The combination of eco-materials and new prefabrication technologies has allowed architects and designers to produce small scale habitats that are more ecological, flexible and efficient, while still adhering to modern standards of style and comfort.

Some of these dwellings are just prototypes, but many are in actual use as pied a terres and vacation cottages. A 506 square foot home in the United States is modeled on the form of a grain silo with three cylinders, one for sleeping, one for eating and one for living. The bed is on a pulley system that can be drawn up into a ceiling box. Another in Belgium is 215 square feet and is being used as a guest house. The interior is a grid of boxes for storage and sleeping with many openings for light opening like an egg.

Although, the Nano Home is geared for mass housing in other countries is it possible that Americans could be ready to consider the potential of mini living on a wider scale? Since the most recent census indicates that the average new single-family house in this country is down to 2,392 square feet, are over sized Americans also ready for a change in living concepts?

For those who have additional interest in what Nano Homes actually look like, a quick internet search will provide some interesting pictures at both Tata Group's website and in Phyllis Richardson's book.

At the end of this year, the Nano car will start being exported around the world. Will the Nano homes also start to catch on in our geared down economy? We'll have to wait and see, but if it happens, Anna Maria Island could be the perfect place for both of Tata's innovations.

Real Estate Transactions
Real Estate Transfers from September 1 to 30, 2011
Sponsored by Alan Galletto Island Real Estate

Sold Date | List Price | Sold Price | Address | Provision | Property Style

Anna Maria

09/30/2011 569,000 540,000 426 Pine Ave. 1080 52x110 2 Br/2 Ba SFR
09/30/2011 449,000 440,000 111 Maple Ave. 1389 50x100 2 Br/1 Ba Vac.

Bradenton Beach

09/20/2011 209,000 180,000 1801 Gulf Dr. N.# 165 691 1 Br/1 Ba Condo
09/20/2011 234,900 199,000 2502 Gulf Dr. N. # 202 681 2 Br/ 2 Ba Condo
09/20/2011 218,000 256,566 901 Gulf Dr. S. # 4 962 2 Br/2 Ba Bank Owned Condo
09/26/2011 349,000 325,000 1900 Gulf Dr. N. # 11 922 2 Br/2 Ba Condo Short Sale
09/30/2011 599, 000 565,000 303 Bay Dr. N. 3288 50x130 4 Br/4 Ba Half-Duplex


09/30/2011 999,000 905,000 12509 Safe Harbour Dr. 3600 80X131 3 Br/3 Ba SFR

Holmes Beach

09/30/2011 219,900 219,900 4307 Gulf Dr. #107 1027 2 Br/2 Ba Condo
09/16/2011 259,265 232,500 3705 E. Bay Dr. #109 1121 2 Br/2 Ba Condo
09/20/2011 329,000 329,000 5802 DePalmas 1000 50x101 2 Br/1 Ba SFR
09/30/2011 389,000 375,000 5805 De Palmas 1150 50x101 2 Br/2 Ba SFR
09/30/2011 429,000 425,000 209 55th St. 1151 3 Br/2 Ba SFR
09/22/2011 585,000 530,000 206 S. Harbor Dr. 2160 54x106 2 Br/3 Ba SFR
09/29/2011 599,000 570,000 208 66th St. # A 1776 3 Br/3 Ba SFR
09/20/2011 899,000 765,000 634 Emerald Lane 2688 3 Br/21/2 Ba SFR
09/30/2011 895,500 875,000 116 48th St. 2600 50x100 6 Br/41/2 Ba SFR
09/28/2011 999,000 910,000 689 Key Royale 2956 100x150 3 Br/21/2 Ba SFR
09/30/2011 2,500,000 2,220,000 3009 Avenue F 2700 50x100 4 Br/31/2 Ba SFR
09/21/2011 429,000 400,000 5008 Gulf Dr. 1625 100x90 3 Br/2 Ba Inc
09/30/2011 300,000 300,000 2803 Avenue E 50x100 Bank Owned Vac
09/30/2011 499,000 400,000 116 48th St. 1384 50x100 1 Br/ 1 Ba Vac

Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office

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