Thorb, a start-up in the Netherlands that was established in 2016 to find new, innovative approaches to building homes, has established the Reinvent The Habitat initiative. Their mission is to “produce houses for half of the current cost with 100% home happiness as the basic guiding principle.”

Thorb challenged the Building Industry to present a revolutionary idea for home living. The organisation was looking for outliers, ground-breaking designs, out-of-the-box thinkers, free-spirited engineers and authentic creations to disrupt the real estate business.

The Reinvent The Habitat initiative invited anyone in the Netherlands or beyond to submit an innovative idea for home living. The jury consisted of Thorb’s founders and the investors behind the organisation. The deadline for the challenge was 31 January 2018. 160 entries were received from more than 10 countries and the twenty best submissions had the opportunity to proceed to the next round. One of the main judging criteria was that the selected design had to contribute innovatively to optimising home happiness or have the most potential to do so.

What is home happiness?
In a nutshell, “home happiness” refers to minimising the cost of home living while increasing the happiness of the occupants of the home. To drill down into what makes home occupants happy, Thorb conducted intensive research on the things that contribute to home enjoyment. According to research, the following nine factors influence home happiness:
• Location
• Social Interaction
• Safety & Security
• Living Comfort
• Green Facilities & Garden
• Finances
• Privacy
• Space
• Technology & Design

Living comfort is the most important factor when it comes to how comfortable people feel in their “habitat”. On average, respondents score their general home happiness seven out of ten. Considering that people spend about 40% of their income on living costs, this number should be closer to a nine or ten.

Three entries were chosen from the 20 selected submissions and these entries had to construct their habitat suggestion. The home had to be lived in for three months to determine whether the design would prompt research participants to raise their home happiness scores to a nine or a ten.

South-African company, Raw Module Architecture & Planning, entered the Reinvent The Habitat challenge and unanimously won first prize for their contemporary custom house built in The Cradle of Humankind in just 30 days. Raw Module’s 30 day project officially kicked off on Monday 5 November 2018 and was completed on schedule 30 days later.

Raw Module approached FloorworX’s Managing Director, Dr Donald Platt, to enquire about wood flooring for their project. FloorworX recommended their Quick-Step Imperio Nougat Exotic Oak Oiled engineered wood floors. The oak in this collection features a subtle variation of shade as well as significant knots, which highlight the rustic appearance of this oak.

The Quick-Step Imperio collection is a 1-strip, micro bevel product with a brushed surface texture and matt finish. The joints on all four sides of the plank give added prominence to the large plank effect.

This collection comes with in the large plank size of 2 200mm by 220mm. The long and wide planks lend an untold sense of depth and exclusivity to an interior, highlighting the authenticity and craftsmanship of real wood. This collection is suitable for use in bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens, lounges and on stairs, as well as for underfloor heating. It also ensures easy cleaning and comes with a lifetime warranty.

FloorworX offers a full collection of accessories, including underlays, finishing profiles and skirting boards that perfectly match the colour of every floor they offer.

Since the announcement of Raw Module’s winning Module concept, Thorb has announced that they are currently working on the right configuration of the RAW Module concept for the Dutch market. All project parties involved have agreed to build and test this configuration on The Green Village in Delft, Netherlands.

Stay updated on the project’s progress through their blog and the #ReinventTheHabitat hashtag.

For more information, contact FloorworX on Tel: +27 (11) 406 4024 or via www.floorworx.co.za.

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