Spherical pod structures have hit the market, but will they revolutionise home construction and the entire property industry? Costing £21,000, a multi-purpose ten-square-metre ‘conker’ can supply different generations with a new type of home according to the man behind the idea.
Entrepreneur Jag Virdie has a strong engineering background working for Rolls Royce Bentley and Lotus before setting up his own Research and Development company in 2010 for automotive and aerospace enterprises. The chartered engineer’s innovative startup Conker Living is getting a lot of attention and The Conker™ is now available for the public to order their own bespoke design.
They Designed, They Built, They Conkered
Designed in Cheshire with all materials sourced from Britain, the structure is nothing like a tent or tree house and can be used for a range of purposes. Besides an annex for a young person wanting their own space, a granny flat or a glamping pod for a young family, it could also be used as a professional office space.
Mr Virdie envisages people using them as a home but says customers can choose how they want them to be equipped. He said, “For an office space we have designed a three-metre long desk with drawers and a deployable table. I currently use the prototype as my office and for when people come and see me.
“You can have it as a conference room with seats, a round table and a projector.”
One pod won’t compete with the size of an average home but they can be joined together to form larger spaces and offer flexibility with custom designs. With more than one pod it creates space for a double bed, storage space for clothes, a kitchenette as well as an en-suite bathroom with a toilet and shower.
Eco-friendly and Durable – The Rolls Royce of Conkers
The Conker was designed to be aerodynamic, strong and versatile. It was important to the designers that it had strong environmental features. It’s made of aluminium and recycled plastic to give it durability and is 100% waterproof but doesn’t need any guttering. Its spherical shape means when it rains all of the water drips down the sides, where it is harvested and stored in tanks. Virdie explains this can be purified and reused in the shower or the kitchenette.
They are practical for living in all year round with 200mm of insultation all around and a heat-recovery system so during winter it will keep the heat inside and lower electricity consumption. The green design should also provide occupants with sunlight throughout the day because of its 360-degree views and round shape. One of The Conker’s selling points is its simplicity – there aren’t a team of builders and specialist tradespeople required to plan and construct it. It can be installed in someone’s garden in a day.
Who Will Buy That Old Chestnut…
Each pod is designed to uniquely fit its environment and Conker Living are currently working on orders for a glamping site. Virdie says this is just the beginning and that in the future they aim to build larger or smaller ones for clients. Time will tell if they become permanent living spaces for different people across Britain. In parts of the United Kingdom, space for new homes is undeniably at a premium. In August 2018, Conservative Minister Liz Truss said the government desperately needs to build on the green belt to address the housing shortage. As well as being cost effective the pods are space-saving which could prove key to its success. The pods aren’t conventional, but they could work as an affordable solution to a housing crisis. Assist Inventories are looking forward to potentially including a Conker on one of their inventory reports!