Ten Fold Engineering, based in the UK, has created prefabricated houses and other buildings that can be transported anywhere in a big box that self-deploys (unfolds) in eight minutes.

The buildings are comprised of standardized components and modularity options that make the system both flexible and affordable. Their lever system enables a building to unfold into an area five times larger than the box containing it.

Founder David Martyn is an architect who designs luxury houses. When his children were unable to find reasonably priced housing in London, he was inspired to create affordable homes that could be set up anywhere. A bus passing by him sparked the idea.

Video Courtesy of Ten Fold Engineering YouTube

These structures do not require builders, cranes or foundations. They leave no waste. The buildings are user-friendly and easy to upgrade, and the layout and size of the buildings can be changed. The prefabs are robust and resilient, so they last a long time in a range of climates. The house can be packed back into a box with the touch of a button and relocated. The area that was beneath the structure will be virtually unharmed (because there’s no foundation), and can be reused for anything else.

One of the benefits of these prefabs is that buildings can be placed in remote areas without importing materials, making it easy to provide housing to people anywhere. The edifices can also be built quickly in areas where houses have been destroyed by a natural disaster. They can be shipped to third world countries or refugee camps, or wherever housing is needed.

The internal power is on as soon as the structure unfolds, and the building can be equipped with an independent power system for people who want to live off the grid. The architectural components are a series of interchangeable pod system pieces that use combinations of folding partitions to create whatever structure is desired. Currently, the least expensive structure is priced around $130,000.

Ten Fold can also manufacture schools, offices, shops, exhibitions, medical clinics, workshops, restaurants, stadiums, hotels, bridges, mini-markets, dance floors, barriers, and other structures. The technology can be utilized for medical machines and other mechanisms as well.

New construction companies are focusing on eco-friendly materials and building methods that minimize costs, maximize sustainability and make houses more affordable. A new wave of automated structure building is propelling the industry into the future. Lady Freethinker has featured houses built by 3D printers. A new technology that moves walls is also altering the standard building industry and creating more flexibility. The Zurich DFAB house, designed in Switzerland, is built by robots and 3D printing. Another example of building innovations is Marriott new modular hotels. Guest rooms are built in remote locations and shipped complete with furniture to fifty hotels.

These new technologies create affordable and sustainable homes and other structures that can improve living conditions worldwide while saving power and reducing waste. Many of these scientific advances allow changes to be made to the architecture without razing the structure and rebuilding, thus saving energy and resources. Streamlining the construction industry with these innovations can help both people and the planet.