This Cardboard Home Lasts At Least 50 Years And Is 100% Recyclable

Using a unique wrapping technique, the Wikkelhouse is made of sustainable materials and is more durable than it sounds. Wikkelhouse owners can tweak the design according to their desired use or size requirements. 


May 23 2019, Updated 6:42 a.m. ET

You may have seen stylish houses built from concrete, wood, or bricks, but have you ever seen one made of cardboard? A group of creative makers in Amsterdam has found a way to design and build sustainable houses out of this rather surprising material. The company behind these homes, Fiction Factory, has been making customizable structures since 1989. More recently, they've begun focusing on more customizable, environmentally friendly dwellings.

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Fiction Factory spent four years researching and developing their construction technology to build an architecturally sound house out of this everyday material. As a result, they created a patented technique that allows them to create homes using cardboard made from Scandinavian trees as the core material. 

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They wrap the cardboard around a giant mold while adding super strong eco-friendly glue to the layers. After creating and bonding 24 layers, the base of the house is properly insulated and solid. This unique building method influenced the name of the design, and the team dubbed it “Wikkelhouse.” The Dutch word for ‘wikkelen’ is “wrapping,” so it directly translates to “wrapped house.”

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So how does this cardboard structure stand up against weather conditions? The final step in creating the Wikkelhouse is adding a waterproof, breathable foil and wood panel finish.  

While the life cycle of this structure is at least 50 years, the entire building is 100 percent recyclable. According to Fiction Factory, the final product is a house that is three times more environmentally sustainable than a traditional home.

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The house is also practical since it can be fully customized in size and function. The modular setup up allows the homeowner to add segments whenever their heart desires. These pieces are 4.5m long x 1.2m wide x 3.5m high and can be easily connected or disconnected to make the house larger or smaller at any time.

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Fiction Factory encourages people to push their imaginations and use the design for things like an office space, classroom, guest house, showroom, or vacation house. The team customizes each structure and can tweak around window placements and finishings. For people who do want to live in the Wikkelhouse full time, they can add a smart Home-segment layout to make sure they have domestic installations like a kitchen, bathroom, and shower.

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The Wikkelhouse doesn’t need a foundation and is only 500 kilos per segment so it can be set up by the beach, on a rooftop, a backyard, or just about anywhere. 

Once ordered, the Wikkelhouse is created at the Fiction Factory workshop in Amsterdam and transported to the buyer’s location. It takes just one day to put the home together at the site. Right now the team can make deliveries in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, UK, and Scandinavia.

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