news — look, your home is just around the corner
In Zoutleeuw, the Limbourgian company Cocosi has built its first prefab house. These houses are erected in a few hours and can be rented for a fixed all-in price. Further projects are planned in Halen, Heers and Ham.
Look, here comes your house
Zoutleeuw, Bart Bijnens
Cocosi is the latest company from Ismaël Ben-Al-Lal, the man behind iLumen and Futech, the Tessenderlo-based firms involved in solar panels and energy storage. "With Cocosi, we want to offer Living As A Service," says Ben-Al-Lal. "We buy small building plots, put energy-neutral homes on them and rent them out including energy costs. That way you know as the customer: this is my fixed monthly amount, nothing more will be added and if something breaks, it will be repaired."
Ben-Al-Lal invested in the company Skilpod last year together with Groep Van Roey. Skilpod builds the modular homes in a workshop in Geel. "In housing construction, there is a big transition going on anyway," Ben-Al-Lal explains. "We actually need more man-hours today than 80 years ago to put up a house, while all other sectors have made huge developments in terms of efficiency. That's why we believe in companies like Skilpod, where you say: this is your product house, built in a controlled environment. With one project manager and one quality manager you make sure your quality is perfect. That way you don't have a 15 percent margin of error. As a customer, you can then just choose your interior, as with a car."
"So a house as a product, that's where we're going. We are really at a tipping point for the affordability of our homes. If in the future you have to choose between not having a house anymore or a standardized but much cheaper house, the choice will be made quickly. It will take some time before this breaks through completely, but it is the direction we need to go. A home as a possession may be going out of business in the long run. You pay for the service of the entire house, and if you want to live somewhere else, you can move smoothly."
950 euros per month
The house in Klipstraat in Zoutleeuw does stand out among the typical Flemish fermettes and houses from the 1950s. Cocosi's Skilpod homes have a living area of 90 square meters, which can be expanded with an extra module of 40 square meters. The rent is 950 euros per month, including all energy consumption. The two-bedroom home is equipped with eighteen solar panels, including PID box to increase the efficiency of the solar panels, two batteries for storage and a system to store excess energy in the boiler.
Cocosi is considering adding a purchase option to the homes, which will initially be offered as a service, in the future.
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