News Home & Design Permit-Free Mono Mini-Prefab Can Be Set Up for $22K By Kimberley Mok Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who covered architecture and the arts for Treehugger starting in 2007. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Kimberley Mok Published September 26, 2018 Updated October 11, 2018 08:49AM EDT ©. Drop Structures Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices Whether it's tiny homes, hotels or location-independent housing, prefab is slowly but surely gaining mainstream acceptance, as more and more people understand the benefits of greater flexibility, consistency of quality and reduced construction times. Prefab can also be an addition to existing buildings too, like this lovely little prefab cabin from Alberta, Canada's Drop Structures, which is intended as an auxiliary workspace, guest room or mini-retreat out in nature. Called Mono, it measures 106 square feet (or about 8.5 feet by 12.5 feet, not including a 4-foot-long deck ) and is 12 feet high -- which means that it doesn't need a permit in most parts of North America. © Drop Structures © Drop Structures © Drop StructuresThe trailer-free Mono was intentionally designed in such a way so that it could pass muster with most municipal regulations, unlike the more ambiguous (and potentially larger and trailer-bound) tiny house. It also has been designed with a more luxurious aesthetic in mind, says Drop Structures co-founder Ryan Abernathy on Dwell: Our structures are designed as a means of expanding ideas on how to improve one's lifestyle beyond the traditional sense of, 'I need more space, so I need to move to a new house or take on renovations.' [..] The Mono is the culmination of art and design. The exterior is covered with maintenance-free and hail-resistant standing seam metal cladding. The deck is made with Douglas fir. The structure built and insulated with a solid-core panel system, and covered with Baltic birch on the inside. It's lit with six LED pot lights and is heated with electricity. © Drop Structures © Drop Structures © Drop Structures © Drop Structures There's enough interior space for a bed, desk and chair, though extras like a small kitchen and bathroom can be added at extra cost. Other options include different window placement, glass walls, skylights, fold-away beds, lofts, custom cabinetry, solar power and more. © Drop Structures The basic, turn-key version of the Mono can be built and shipped within six to eight weeks, at a cost of USD $22,000. Though it has been designed to not necessarily require a permit to install, the creators encourage potential owners to double-check requirements with local building authorities, especially if they are thinking of ordering larger versions of the prefab. As the notion of prefabrication becomes more popular and widely accepted, we may be seeing more high-end and customizable mini-prefabs such as this hit the market.