The Nissen Hut Project

Oct 13, 2021

By Peter Woodcock

Marketing Executive, ECON Polyurethanes

Do you own a Nissen Hut that could be earning you thousands each year?

A Money-Making Idea

In late 2007, two budding entrepreneurs, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, came up with a money-making idea to help pay their San Francisco rent. They put an air bed in their living room and successfully let out the room as a bed and breakfast. Buoyed from their letting venture and its scalable potential, launched in August 2008. A year later, it was rebranded as Airbnb, and expanded its offer from air beds and shared spaces to entire homes, apartments and private rooms.

A Billion Guest Arrivals

There are now over 4 million active Airbnb hosts who have welcomed more than a billion guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe. Hosts have earned over £1.46 billion/€1.74 billion all-time and the average earnings of hosts is just under £7K/€8.5K per annum.

Unusual Spaces

For guests, it is an opportunity to experience unique and unforgettable nights away. But in a busy market, achieving stand-out can be as important in letting for hosts, as value for money. That’s why innovative hosts are increasingly transforming strange and unusual spaces into cosy and lucrative lets. Cosmpolitan recently featured lets that included a converted silo, a vintage horsebox, a windmill, treehouses, and even an airship.

Nissen Hut Airbnb Vision

British Insulation Services recently helped one Suffolk-based entrepreneur realise their Airbnb vision of converting an abandoned 30ft long Nissen hut, pictured, into a top-notch let.

Nissen Hut Military Use

Nissen huts, a prefabricated steel structure, were originally designed for military use by Peter Norman Nissen, DSO, a Canadian-American-British mining engineer, inventor and army officer.  They were used in both WW1 and WW2 to accommodate troops but post-war were marketed as family housing. However, the modification of the semi-cylindrical huts into family homes proved unpopular despite their low cost. One factor was standard furniture did not fit into a curved-wall house effectively, limiting usable space.  With no commercial purpose many disused huts were converted for agricultural or industrial purposes, or simply left to corrode.

Nissen Hut Renaissance

More recently Nissen huts have enjoyed something of a renaissance as the spatial challenges have been overcome with clever designs and bespoke craftmanship including this stunning two-storey and five bedroom eco-transformation.

Winning Formula

In order to convert the Suffolk Nissen hut into a habitable space, it was critical that the interior surface could be lined with a robust and low-flammable product that would boost the space’s thermal efficiency, reduce condensation and help with soundproofing. With its no-nonsense, ease of application and high performance, BASF’s eco-friendly Elastospray LWP proofed a winning formula.

Nissen Hut Protected

Under the expert direction of British Insulation Services, the experienced foam masters ensured any exposed surfaces, like windows, doors and flooring, were effectively protected from the insulation foam.

Nissen Hut Corrugated Steel

In order to meet the required thermal U-value, 65mm of Elastospray LWP was applied directly onto the corrugated steel surface throughout the confined space. The quick-drying, closed-cell foam adhered to the surface and instantly brightened up the space, revealing its latent potential.

Nissen Hut Modernised Interior

With the Nissen Hut sprayed in eco-friendly and energy-efficient Elastospray LWP insulation, the client can now continue renovation work on both the unit’s bright and modernised interior and exterior. With superior thermal insulation, there is no question that guests’ stay will be a cosy and comfortable one.

Modest Outlay

In a relatively short space of time, and with a modest outlay, the Nissen Hut is being resurrected and a dilapidated eyesore will unquestionably become a lucrative stream of income for the owner.

BASF Elastospray LWP

Whatever your insulation needs, find out more about BASF Elastospray LWP here.


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