top of page

Zero Carbon, Low Cost Living Units

Projects / Residential

Zero carbon, low cost living units created within existing unused space

Project information


Client: Kwintes

Project Date: 2016



Site Location: Amersfoort, Holland

Project Status: Construction finished

One Planet foundation in Amersfoort and ZED factory architects in London work together on innovative sustainability projects in The Netherlands e.g. renovate old inefficient buildings to zero-energy buildings (One planet Business Garden), off-grid Tiny Houses mounted above parking spaces (POD’s) and demountable units for converting empty office spaces into low-cost living units (Kit Houses.) We make the design and build a prototype, then find local investors and partners to take over commercial production.

Old office building

The market for Kit Houses is huge. In Amersfoort 30-40% of all office buildings are empty. At the same time over 16,000 people are waiting for low-cost housing; care patients, students, refugees with residence permits, single parent’s. The municipality changed the zoning laws to allow office buildings to be used for temporary living for 10 years, and gives a yes/no decision in 8 weeks. There is much talk about the problems of empty buildings and housing shortages but little action. This is why OnePlanet-ZED developed the Kit House which can be built in a few days inside empty office buildings. Almost no changes are needed to the building. Then some years later you can take the Kit House apart and move it to a new building.

Floor Plan

Designs have been made for two standard units of 18m2 (two windows) but it is modular and can be expanded further if needed. OnePlant–ZED can help with the building layout and business plan.

First Prototype Kit House


  •  Delivered 3rd June 2016 in Amersfoort

  • 18m2 internal space with kitchen, bathroom, sleeping/living room and 2 large windows

  • Very robust construction, 60-minute fire-proofing, good heat and sound insulation

  • Cost price flat-pack kit delivered to customer’s doorstep €18,000 ex BTW exclusive assembly

  • Connects to electricity, water, sewage in host building

  • Can be built inside an empty building then taken down later and moved to a new building

Kit House components off-loaded from truck

Steel frame is assembled inside empty office building

Frame is covered in fire-rated solid wooden panels

Outside surface is covered in fire-protecting Rockwool

Exposed end walls are covered in finishing panel. Passage walls have extra wood panel to double the fire rating.

Interior View

Sleeping/living room with two large windows



More Residential Projects

The Zero Bills Home (2016)
Newport Eco Village (2016)
Newquay Zero Bills Community (2013)
Newquay Island Crescent (2012)
Grande Synthe Rural ZED
Upton Rural ZED
Hope House (1995)
Hockney Green Housing Development
Valley House (2016)
Tamar Valley Centre
Yew Tree House Brighton
Dubai Villa
bottom of page