MOBA is an Argentinian social startup that explores housing solutions for people living in informal homes. The company has designed a housing model that rejects the notion of temporary or emergency housing based on the need for durable and quality structures in South American countries where frequent natural disasters leave the poor homeless every year. Its permanent housing design is made up of a strong recycled-plastic concrete, and is prefabricated to allow for quick emergency construction.
The units, which are about the size of a shipping container, can be stacked and arranged into different configurations to suit each family’s needs. This vertical expansion system helps create space and improve living conditions in high density areas.
MOBA works directly with local communities on each housing project, providing employment for residents who want to be involved in the building of the houses and training locals so that they can pass on the construction skills to others. The company’s concrete modules provide a starting home that can be inexpensively expanded into a four-storey house to accommodate the inevitable growth of families.
Aside from being earthquake and fire-resistant, the concrete modules have also been equipped to support green roofs, collect rainwater and incorporate solar panels. These add-ons combined with the built-in insulation significantly reduces the energy consumption of each household. Furthermore, the company has chosen to use a specialised concrete made up of recycled plastic because it is a lighter but equally durable building material that also helps reduce plastic waste.
To ensure the units can be efficiently assembled when needed, MOBA has developed a string of mobile, off-site factories that can swiftly build the prefabricated panels when disasters occur. The panels can then be immediately transported and set up by trained locals on the building site.