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Tata to build the world's cheapest house - 20 square metres for US$715


July 21, 2011

Tata is aiming to build the world's cheapest house

Tata is aiming to build the world's cheapest house

There is absolutely no doubt that the human condition thrives on challenge. Fresh from creating the world's cheapest car, the US$2500 Tata Nano, Tata Corporation is now intending to create the world's cheapest house. The flat-roofed 20 sq meter house will cost Rs 32,000 (EUR500 - GBP440 - US$715 ), can be built in a week and came about from an aim to deliver a viable package for beneficiaries of the Indira Awaas Yojana shelter rehabilitation scheme in Tata's native India. The scheme provides Rs 40,000 per house for people below the poverty line, scheduled castes and tribes, freed bonded laborers and ex-servicemen.

If Tata can hit its targets, the scheme will bring much greater access to shelter for millions of Indians. India is world's second most populous nation with 1.21 billion people and it is growing at such a rate that it is expected to pass China (currently 1.34 billion) by 2030. It has already surpassed China for the number of people who live in poverty (800 million people).

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

Let\'s see some images of these dwellings.

Carlos Grados

Can you buy them at IKEA?

Krister Knutars

It would be great if the design is safe and they can keep the price low enough to make a difference. If they are as safe as the cars, the owners will die in the first major storm that hits them or the first small earthquake.


Here is a picture about that cheapest house: http://www.caradvice.com.au/128924/tata-announces-worlds-cheapest-flatpack-house/


What about shipping shipping containers?


I have a cardboard box that my refrigerator came in. It is just as safe and I bet you can fit 5 Indians in it at least. LOL

Susan Brown

I will take two please, build a home on my Mum\'s property and owe \"The Bank\" NOTHING no thirty year loan and halofirst, ty for the link

Bill Bennett

Shipping containers have been re-designed before: heavy, costly, evironmentally unfriendly, uncomfortable. Ready the building trade press over the decades, their have been many such proposals. Few seem marketable, sustainable or usable.

Hence the plastic-cloth cities used for the milions of refugees in the camps all over the world.

Greg Zeng

I think the form factor of shipping containers is the biggest thing against them for liveability. This proposal is slightly smaller in floor area than a 30 foot (9.14 meter) container, but is not constrained to the long skinny shape (you can buy high containers which have 1 foot/30cm extra headroom).

Also, even second hand containers would cost much more than these, especially after conversion.

I, too, would have liked to see images.


\"If they are as safe as the cars, the owners will die in the first major storm that hits them or the first small earthquake.\"

Is that right, Flink?

Ever been in a Jaguar? They\'re Tata cars...

Keith Reeder

They should use lots of polystyrene foam in the walls, a cheap material which is a very good thermal and sound insulator. Homes with foam walls are becoming very popular in the U.S. since they\'re both cheaper and more energy efficient.


what about the materials? please explain about the materials if possible.


Mere cost reduction should not be the criterion especially in House.It should be livable and durable.

Anumakonda Jagadeesh

Polystyrene foam has good thermal insulating properties but it\'s highly flammable, so hazardous for dwellings.

William Lanteigne
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