Here you will find the Reinvent The Habitat frequently asked questions.
Hopefully you find your answer(s) here.

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frequently asked questions

What is your target group? Apartment buildings / terraced (or row) houses / semi-detached / detached?

We will start with a concept suitable for an urban environment. That might be an apartment building or a row house. However, if your concept is for detached or semi-detached housing, if it’s one of a kind and fulfils all the requirements, then of course we would be happy to work with it too!

Why are you doing this?

It’s very simple: Thorb feels that home living is ridiculously expensive. Many people in the construction and real estate sector have an intuition that it could all be done for a lot less. But the sector doesn’t seem able to do it. Besides the fact that we think home living is ridiculously expensive, it also doesn’t make sense that the product is entirely defined by professionals who look askance if you ask them when they last consulted any residents. These twin aspects of price and the resident as starting point mean that Thorb is taking a different route and calling on as many out-of-the-box parties as possible to submit their ideas in the form of a concept or a concrete solution. Together we can give home living back to residents and make it more affordable too!

What requirements should the home meet?

The answer to this question is the key to our innovative approach. The home should meet the requirements of the people who are going to live there. Put like that it sounds too simple to be true. But to quote the Dutch football legend Johan Cruijff: “Simple is the most difficult.” So, the guiding principle is what potential residents want from their homes. We have summarized their wishes for you and will continue to tweak it more and more. When you register to participate, a wizard will automatically enable you to indicate how your concept meets the residents’ preferences. We have categorized these preferences into nine factors which together define home happiness.

What does the test stage entail?

From all the submissions we will select a maximum of three concepts which we will then test. This means they will be constructed in The Green Village and residents will move into them. The tests measure four dimensions and we judge the extent to which your concept is scalable for each of these dimensions. The four dimensions are:

  • Social: people will live in the concepts so that we will know to what extent they accept and value the concepts. We will also carry out wider quantitative studies to measure acceptance and appreciation of the concepts. This is because scalability is strongly dependent on the degree to which people accept and value the concepts.
  • Business: without business, no scalability. So, what is the cost price of the home when constructed in large numbers, and is this a profitable prospect in the market?
  • Legal: in The Green Village we are free from construction regulations (as long as it’s safe!), but if we want to scale up we will have to contend with numerous laws and regulations. So we will have to explore how the concept needs to be adapted to be able to scale it within the regulations. But we will also examine how and where we can scale up with other regulations.
  • Technical: obviously, the technical nature of the concept determines its scalability. Both the technical nature of the product itself and whether the concept is manufacturable in large numbers or industrially.

Why are you calling for homes that are scalable?

Very simple: we want to give as many people as possible 100% home happiness at a 50% discount.

What is The Green Village and where is it?

The Green Village is a so-called rule-free zone in which innovative solutions for urban environments can be tested. A lot is possible there, as long as it’s safe!

Why should I participate?

If you make it to the final three you will receive the best possible assessment of your concept and by the end of the process you will at the very least know what to do in order to make your concept scalable. But there’s more, because if we jointly come up with a concept that really is scalable, then that’s what we will do as soon as possible: scale up!

How do I participate?

Register here!

Does the home have to be completely liveable?

No. We get that you probably don’t have a ready-to-use concept lying around. We will look at all (partial) concepts. However, concepts that are already largely liveable and which meet the living requirements will obviously have a greater chance of actually being produced. Read this too: “What if we only have one component or part of a house?”

What if we only have one component or part of a house?

No problem! One of the additional benefits of our approach is that you will be given the opportunity to find parties who can make your concept even better. And vice versa. This is because you can see how other participants score on the ten home happiness factors. So you can reach out to parties who excel in factors which are underrepresented in your own concept. We will also be connecting parties behind the scenes. So don’t hesitate to ask us for help!

How will the winners be chosen?

We have not prepared an extensive spreadsheet consisting of all sorts of rationally supported scores. Thorb aims for 100% home happiness at a 50% discount. How we define home happiness is reflected in the nine happiness factors.

What are the happiness factors?

Thorb’s mission is to maximize its residents’ home happiness. That’s why we’ve done extensive research into home happiness. This research has identified a total of nine happiness factors, and we have added one factor called ‘other’, which you can fill in yourself, so that we can learn from you as well. Using these happiness factors we formulated so-called Functional Requirements. If these requirements are fully met, home happiness will be as good as possible too. When you register as a participant you will immediately be able to view the nine happiness factors and the associated Functional Requirements. Not that we believe this is an exhaustive summary of determining factors and Functional Requirements. This is just the beginning. The home happiness model is dynamic and will develop further with the help of your concepts.

Will there definitely be a winner?

That’s our assumption! In the very worst case none of the submissions will get close to the nine happiness factors but we don’t think that’s very likely. So we will be testing one, two or three concepts in The Green Village. And then things will get really exciting because of course we will have to be able to present a case to investors that demonstrates the concept is socially, business-wise, legally and technically scalable. But that’s something we will work very hard on together. The outcome will be an investment proposal with which we will be able to persuade our investors to embark on actual scaling!

What about intellectual property rights (IP)?

Our goal is not to steal great concepts, but to scale up genius ones. If the test stage makes it clear we’re onto something potentially successful, then part of the process will be that we jointly decide how to work together to scale the concept. From where we’re standing now that could take a variety of forms. Feel free at any time to send us or request an NDA (non-disclosure agreement).

What is Thorb?

Thorb stands for The House Of Revolutionary Building and it’s the start-up behind Reinventthehabitat.com. For more info about Thorb, go to Thorb.world.

I have a genius idea but no experience whatsoever with construction or the construction industry. Is that a problem?

Absolutely not. In fact, we love that! That’s exactly what we’re looking for: ideas the construction sector hasn’t come up with yet. And if you need knowledge or experience from the traditional construction sector for your concept, we will be glad to help out. So don’t hesitate, register!

Until when can I register?

Registration closes on 31 January 2018. We’ve compiled a page where you can read all the details at your leisure :).

What are residents?

The people (and potentially pets) who will live in your product and pay rent. These are by far the most important entities in the entire process! However unfortunate it may be, the traditional construction sector often ignores them. Make sure you don’t 😉.

I’m busy registering and I don’t have time to cook and eat. Could you organize some food for me?

We’re happy to point you to a few great sites where you can order food. We’re fans of takeaway.com and deliveroo.com. Good luck and bon appétit!

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