Modular "Flex House" Was the Most Capable Smart Home: Now Rests as Inspiration to Others

Flex House 18 photos
Photo: Shelter Dynamics
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While combing the world for modern and able habitats, I ran across a mobile and modular structure dubbed the Flex House. But, as I explored more of this eco-friendly, smart, and sustainable dwelling, I discovered that it's no longer available for order.
Folks, back in 2018, architectural shows and firms were taken by storm with a habitat dubbed the Flex House. It was presented to the world as the result of a collaboration between Shelter Dynamics (SD) and Green Builder Media (GBM), two crews with an established presence in the housing and prefab markets. So, what the heck have we missed out on?

Well, one feature that people were looking forward to was this home's ability to be built specifically to the owner's needs and wants "by selecting from a menu of prefabricated modules." This meant that future homeowners could surpass the already standard 760 square feet (71 square meters) of living space and stop only when needs were met or they were out of cash.

Another aspect that brought with it the proper allure for the modern human was this home's ability to integrate an array of technological systems into its functionality. Flex House was equipped with a variety of voice-enabled tech and devices, allowing you to simply talk your way through doing the dishes and washing clothes, but SD and GBM wanted more.

To ensure that Flex owners felt like they were receiving some returns on their investment and also making an ecological difference, this home included the ability to use the Sun's rays for power, to the extent that it could function as a microgrid. This was made possible by tapping into an extensive battery array.

Flex House
Photo: Shelter Dynamics
The same level of attention is given to another essential system, plumbing and/or irrigation. As I researched the Flex House, I learned that the ability to manage and manipulate water efficiently and cleanly may have been reason enough to spend the asking price on this home, speaking of which was set at around $80,000 and managed to grow to $100,000. Some sources even displayed rates of $150,000 or more. Considering these habitats were modular, I can see the latter sum as a credible rate for more elaborate units.

Once inside, all the cash you spent was visible in spaces like that massive kitchen, booth dinette, and inviting bedroom. Even the bathroom looks better than some I've seen in landlocked homes. Living rooms and several storage closets are also shown in the manufacturer's floorplans.

As for why we're no longer able to purchase such a magnificent specimen, it's all because of the worldwide health crisis and affected manufacturing and shipping businesses. Simply put, it would have cost much more to build such a habitat than future owners were willing to pay. Naturally, SD and GBM cut the cord, and now, articles like this one remain; maybe one of your neighbors managed to get his or her hands on one.

Flex House Kitchen
Photo: Shelter Dynamics
However, future homeowners weren't the only ones affected by SD and GBM's decision to stop production. In truth, over 20 sponsors lost out on their planned contracts, of which Toyota, DuPont Tyvek, Bosch, and even Amazon were a part. Bad news all around for everyone, I guess.

Well, sort of. Since Flex House first arrived on the scene, there has been a massive jump in mobile, modular, and self-sufficient home manufacturers, and today, the list to choose from is quite extensive. I'll let you in on a little secret, too, a lot of what's available can be acquired for less than $150K, so start searching for a new glorified version of a Flex House. Just remember, it'll be from someone else, named differently, but the idea will be the same.

Now, things are a tad weird if you ask me because as I dove deeper into all that was supposed to be the Flex House, I found an image from September 10, 2022 – 18 days before I wrote this article – showcasing this home at a trade show. But I thought they stopped building these. I feel we may soon see the Flex House being sold again.
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Editor's note: Images in the gallery showcase an array of custom Flex House interiors and features.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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