Don't move house, get a room

HOUSES could eventually be made to order without having to provide complicated blueprints thanks to a new technology being developed by a French company.

1 May 2016
The interlocking parts of Plug & Live houses will allow owners to change their design easily
By Damien Black

Alliance Construction, based in Maine-et-Loire, is researching a prospective new product, known as Plug & Live, which it hopes will become a reality in the not-too-distant future if tests over the next few years are successful.

Under the envisioned programme, customers would simply order a frame and then use an online brochure to select how many and what kind of rooms they want in their house.

They would also be able to select different styles of interior décor, for instance architecture rurale or architecture naturelle, according to personal taste.

The separate modules – bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms and the like – would then be delivered within a month by lorry and slotted into place using special equipment.

The houses are also designed to be changeable, meaning owners can adapt the original model they have chosen to reflect life changes such as the birth of a child, grown-up children moving out, or the need to care for an elderly relative.

“We hope to have a prototype within two or three years,” said Sophie Baron, head and founder of Alliance Construction, which currently employs 75 staff in France.

“I have commissioned carpenters and electricians and all the other necessary employees to carry out the work.”

For many homeowners this could mean an end to the need to move house, long considered one of the most stressful aspects of modern living.

The Plug & Live houses are also being designed with climate change in mind, and the roofing will come fitted with photovoltaic cells that harness solar power to meet electricity needs.

“I want to construct houses that are able to save energy and reduce electricity costs,” said Ms Baron.

On a more immediate level, the houses will also be able to adapt to weather changes, altering the tint of window panes and temperature of in-built radiators to allow for differing levels of light and heat outside and new modules will allow updated technology.

Get news, views and information from France