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Is The Most Affordable YEEZY Actually The YEEZY Home?

We cost estimate Kanye's affordable hype housing
by Ash Mahinay | Jun 7, 2018
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The mad genius of Kanye West continues to go further from music as he just unveiled his new low income housing project. Appropriately called "YEEZY Home," the first project from this outfit is an affordable but aesthetic abode modeled after his very own Calabasas studio.

Photo by Jalil Peraza

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Photo by Jalil Peraza

To achieve the "affordable" part, Kanye's Social Housing Project is to be constructed from prefabricated concrete components. So you'll be getting the exact same house as a bunch of other people, but that's the way it is with YEEZY Boosts anyway, right? And rather than the usual crazily priced merch, Yeezus has your budget in mind with his latest venture.

There is no word on actual pricing yet, but we asked some local architects to see if a concept like this remains affordable if you decide to build one in the Philippines.

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Photo by Jalil Peraza

How much do you estimate it would it take to build your very own YEEZY Home?

Ar. Mervin Afan: Considering that it is meant for socialized housing, we can apply the same aesthetic in our local setting (for low income families) but definitely in a more limited space. Around 30sqm at P10,000 per sqm construction rate for a total of P300,000 php. This would just look like a concrete box though. But if we follow the actual design based on the photos, I'd say this is around 150 sqm at P10,000-15,000 per sqm, so P1.5M to 2.25M (without furniture). That is just a very rough estimate."

Marc Virtucio, principal architect, Emerging Architects Studio: The rule of thumb when building a house using prefabricated components (i.e. walls, built-in furniture, cabinetry, etc.) is that the total construction cost is reduced by around 10-20% versus than the standard industry rate.

So if you'd try building your YEEZY home, from ground up, at 150 sqm. gross floor area, multiply it with P28,000.00-30,000.00 (standard industry rate used by my studio for houses in Manila), and, say, 15% average savings due to modular components, then that gives you approximately P3.57M to P3.82M total construction cost.

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Although, mind you that mere use of prefabricated components, particularly in a single project, does not guarantee the said savings. The savings are realized when prefabricated components are purchased in bulk and used in multiple projects.

Are prefab concrete components widely used locally?

Ar. Afan: For high-rise buildings and condominiums, yes, but not for single family dwellings yet. For public housing, it's starting to become more popular, but it depends on the budget and project proponent.

Ar. Virtucio: It's widely used in socialized housing and, currently, it's resorted to in mid-rise and high-rise buildings. Project developers and project owners use prefabricated assembly when the project requires replication of components—it saves time in construction and it saves them a significantly huge amount of money.

How long should it take to put up a prefab house?

Ar. Afan: Some phases involved in the traditional method of construction will be bypassed if prefab components are to be used–the construction period could be reduced by half, or even more. For a 150sqm single-storey house with a minimalistic design, the construction time of 5-7 months could be reduced to 1-3 months, I think.

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Ar. Virtucio: Well, based on our studio's experience, for a house of 150sqm in floor area that uses prefabricated components, it reduces the standard construction period of 8 months to 6 months.

Will I die with no aircon in a house that looks like this?

Ar. Afan: Typical Filipino dwelling doesn't have aircon in the main living spaces, but the exposed ceiling and concrete finish will definitely store heat that would add to our warm weather. This would feel like an oven during summer. In terms of air circulation, the design seems open, but bigger windows could be added for better cross-ventilation. To contextualize it in our setting, a drop ceiling and painted exterior walls would definitely help in thermal insulation.

Ar. Virtucio: Well, I can't say, ha ha! I would have to see the drawings of this YEEZY home. Although, proper design of this—for the Philippine context—that allows cross-ventilation, would save you from the scorching heat of the sun.

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