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Designed for a community of tech elites, these tiny homes are 3D printed, run by Tesla batteries, and cost $250,000

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© Provided by Business Insider Inc

By Katie Canales, Tech Insider 

  • A 609-acre California coastal community, Walden Monterey, serves as a respite for those needing to recharge their batteries — especially the region's leaders in tech.
  • The enclave's founder, Nick Jekogian, invites potential homeowners to visit the property and stay in portable homes, called "roving rooms," to truly experience the sustainable, outdoor-centric lifestyle the community has to offer.
  • Now, a new unit, called the Galini Sleeping Pod, will be used to house prospective buyers as they consider making a more permanent purchase of the land.
  • According to the pod's designer, it's much more than simply a mobile home.

About eight hours south of Silicon Valley sits the Monterey Peninsula, where you'll find a fledgling community that's being designed as a respite for the region's tech elite.

Walden Monterey was founded in 2016 by developer Nick Jekogian, who set out to turn the 609 acre-land into a coastal "agrihood" community, a growing trend amongst millennials in which they shun the idea of belonging to golf communities, like the previous generation, and instead embrace agricultural neighborhoods that focus on nature, farms, and outdoor living.

The property plans to build 22 homes in total, with the lots they sit costing about $5 million each (three lots have been sold, as of November 2017). After the sales are made, buyers can work with a team of more than 20 architects assembled by Jekogian (or they can hire an outsider) to then shell out additional millions in home construction.

A key step in the buying process involves prospective buyers actually visiting the land. Jekogian invites people to stay in "roving rooms," or small moveable glass houses, which allow them to experience what living on the land would actually be like.

But now, Walden Monterey will soon provide a new way to try out the land. The design studio DFA, founded by Laith Sayigh, was approached by Walden Monterey to design a house for potential buyers to stay in while they mull over purchase decisions.

The 3D-printed self-sustaining houses, dubbed Galini Sleeping Pods, are 300 square feet in size, can be moved anywhere, are powered by solar panels, wind turbines, and Tesla batteries, and will cost about $250,000 each. Sayigh told Business Insider that they're not just a future staple for the Walden Monterey community, but that they represent "the next generation of construction technology."

Take a look:
Meet the Galini Sleeping Pod.

It's 300 square feet in size and takes around four to six weeks to construct.

The skin of the pod is developed by 3D-printing company Branch Technology, which is also currently developing construction methods for NASA's Mars ventures. It's a strong shell, consisting of carbon fiber, and sits atop a recycled aluminum base holding the pod off the ground.

The pods are made off-site and can be lugged from lot to lot on the property so that potential buyers can experience what it would be like to live there.

Source: Business Insider
One of the pillars of the Walden Monterey project is sustainable design and living.

The Galini is no different: It's 97% material efficient, meaning that only 3% of the materials that go into each unit are wasted. Everything else, the wood paneling inside, the recycled plastic used in construction, the LED lighting, the plumbing and mechanical systems, are "green" and efficient. As a result, the pod has no impact on the local environment.

A compression system works to draw water in from the atmosphere to provide the pod's occupants with a water supply. Solar panels and wind turbines power the unit, as does a lightweight battery sourced from Tesla, tech billionaire Elon Musk's energy company.

"[The pod] has a little belly under the floor," said Sayigh. That's where the Tesla battery rests.

Though ideally people would use fresh air to ventilate the pod by opening the doors, Sayigh said there is a system underneath the pod as well that can heat or cool the space if needed.

"If you've got Elon Musk coming to stay, you want to make sure the guy is comfortable," Sayigh said.
Though the pod was born in conjunction with Walden Monterey, Sayigh said the vision for it extends past the Silicon Valley community.

The unit's mobility means it can be put on the back of a truck and transported anywhere: to an agrihood community on California's Monterey coastline, or an obscure patch of land in the Nevada desert. It could potentially replace more environmentally unfriendly mobile homes as we know them.

"This is the sustainable airstream of our time," Sayigh said.

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Technology - U.S. Daily News: Designed for a community of tech elites, these tiny homes are 3D printed, run by Tesla batteries, and cost $250,000
Designed for a community of tech elites, these tiny homes are 3D printed, run by Tesla batteries, and cost $250,000
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