In 2001 a friend and all round skill genius, Meg Fiddler, decided to put the system to the test. She built a version of the UpDown house as a sleep-out for a family in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The idea was that they would rent building but they were so impressed by the possibility of being able to deconstruct it and move it as a beach home they decided to buy it before it was built.
The example is what Meg calls a “special”. It has a ceiling and trusses, and the owners wanted an entrance. This compromised the economies of standard sheets and floor plan, and the loss of extra head room with the ceiling, but it did give us an opportunity to rehearse the process of plans, building consent, and building something without the use of nails: taking the concept for a test drive.
At present, in New Zealand, it cost about $1000.00 a square meter to build a new house. Many are in the 140 square meter range. This is about $145,000 for a new four bedroom home, not including the land.
The sleep-out exercise worked out about $850.00 a square meter.
As a guide, I would still plan at $1000.00 a square meter as a rule of thumb.