Pre-fabricated structures called Inpod use German technology similar to luxury yatches to create buildings that are Indian at core in function. Nilesh Jadhav an architect from London launched the product this year bringing to Indian market inoffice– pre-fab office spaces and inhouse– the residential line. He briefs Buildotech on the technology and its application in Indian construction segment.
What is the basic concept of Inpod?
The concept behind Inpod is to make setting up a new office or house as simple as plugging into a socket or something similar to playing with Lego blocks. Currently, there are no portable buildings available globally that come with plug and play specifications using high quality materials with innovative design ideas. Having been exposed to new ways of design thinking during my study and work in the UK, I developed an idea to optimize user experience by empowering the users to build leisure & residential spaces and workspaces according to their needs and preferences.
Inpod is a building that performs the functions of a conventional building but is factory built and portable. We broke up the conventional design of a building into versatile and identical modules which can be manufactured at a high speed and assembled in no time. The system gives the freedom from age old constraints related to construction and can be erected in any location at any time.
How is Inpod a smart building solution?
The structures or “Pods” are portable, lightweight, strong and yet beautifully designed with superior external and internal wall finishes. Each Inpod is four times stronger than its RCC counterparts. They are built using ‘Inskin’, which is a unique composite building material developed from German methods, so far used in the creation of yachts and floating homes. The technology lends the structures qualities such as crack resistance, extreme robustness and a tactile, hygienic surface.
Inpod hardly requires any installation time, except for the concrete plinth thereby reducing labour charges and on-site fabrication. As it is built of composite material, it is termite proof. Also, as it is not made of concrete, the structure is lightweight. It has low maintenance cost as its superior paint finishes and core material do not crack like concrete or peel. It is easily expandable with top of the line fittings available at the click of a button.
Furthermore, Inpods are fully equipped with concealed electrical system which incorporates a Diakin inverter climate control unit and LED lights. For plumbing, we worked with Jon Guest UK to develop a speed fit based plug and play system which enables each pod to be disconnected (plumbing wise) from the rest of the buildings through a manifold based system.
Brief on the inoffice – office spaces and its advantages in Indian scenario
Companies that are starting new projects and need a project site office with minimal construction activity would find these structures economical. Building concrete structures is time-consuming and problematic and these have to be broken down once the project is complete. On the other hand, Porta cabins though movable and easy to setup, look and feel substandard. Germany, which is the place of genesis of Inpod technology, has really high end houses built out of pre-fab material. The same has been introduced in the inhouse line, to address the growing demand for luxury pre-fab office spaces in India. Inpods have a life span of over 10 years and are cost effective in the long run. Inpod structures can continuously be modified to suit its user’s needs with minimum effort and disruption.
What about the residential line?
Inpod has diversified into the inhouse residential line which is available in three sizes: Extra small (XS), small (S) and medium (M). The range is focused on those discerning consumers who are well travelled and exposed to new and innovative ways of living. While the inhouse S is ideal as small second home, farmhouse or even standard units of cottage style resort. The inhouse M is spacious and luxurious with demarcated lounging and entertaining spaces, with a fully equipped bathroom, suitable for families, young couples and corporates who would like to experience living in the wilderness without compromising on luxury. Inhouse also offers customizable solutions for large villas or second homes. The structures provide protection and safety and can be built on the beach, hillside, jungle and even on inaccessible terrain.
What are the other areas of application for Inpod products?
Inpod structures can find application in any sector from the government departments and ministries, defence establishments and diplomatic missions to private sector companies, schools, hospitals, hotels and airports. It can also be used in retail industry. For example, within an Inpod portable kiosk with full glass paneling, luxury products, cars etc can be put on display. The display unit can be used on a road show to maintain the same standard wherever the product is displayed. They come fully equipped as per retailer’s specifications.
In India kiosks that are reusable or semi permanent such as the roadside food stalls for fast food are often old and dirty and are difficult to maintain, making them unhygienic option for the consumer. The concept of Inpod lets you have multiple uses of the kiosk and state of the art kitchen equipment.
Sleep pods are the new trends in offices, airports and other busy areas to allow the individual to catch up on his/her sleep. Inpods can be used to build a space conscious, luxurious pod at the airport where travelers can take a nap or a shower comfortably and then catch their flights.
The potential of modular pre-fabricated and portable structures in India
It is true that we are at a nascent stage in India. Conventional products still get preference and the range of uses of pre-fab /porta cabins has not been explored. In India, build quality differs hugely from place to place. The same kind of houses factories and office spaces easily built within city limits may actually a long and arduous process to take when built away from urbanization. Inpod gives the freedom to have a building of superior quality with all the comforts that one is used to in the city, at any location.
Geographically challenging areas and land classifications/regulations that do not allow conventional construction are two other problems that modular portable structures solve for the customers. These give the option of building a structure to client’s expectations of quality and comfort standards in the shortest possible time without having to worry about the actual process of construction.