Green Building Tools & Resources. Tiny Homes Are Cheap. Cheap (Potentially Free) To Build Houses. Theoretically, you could build any house for free, especially in a model such as the resource-based economy that participants in the Zeitgeist movement propose. Realistically, a dwelling could only be built for free to the degree that it was made from local materials. Therefore any design that involves imported materials will very likely have some level of financial (and ecological) cost attached to it in most instances, though as we will see throughout this chapter this is not necessarily so, as we can often use the detritus of industrialised society to produce the sustainable homes of the future. I will look at houses that could be built for free but are likely to cost something, even if it is a fraction of what you would spend on a modern bricks and mortar house. To keep costs to the absolute minimum, use your imagination and try to use what you have at hand, as much as you possibly can, in the construction process.
Passive solar designs Earthships Earth bag construction Circular houses. DIY Off-Grid Home: Simple Solar Homesteading. 29 Features Off The Grid Homebuilders Should Consider. Guest Post By L. Fred Roensch, PhD In addition to the expected, e.g. high level of insulation, caulking, double glazing, smoke and carbon monoxide monitors and security systems – the following features are suggested for any “off the grid” home. Most of these features are well known and widely used in energy efficient homes – some are not!
I’d like to share 29 features that I think every off-grid homebuilder should think about… Minimize total enclosed square footage The smaller the enclosed space the lower the heating and cooling energy demand.Minimize footprint by using two stories. A two-story home requires a smaller lot size, reduces impact on the surrounding environment, and is easier and more efficient to heat and cool. It also can be designed to appear from the north side as a very conventional home. Many, but not all, of the features listed above are discussed in detail in the following books: “Earth-Sheltered Homes: How to Build an Affordable Underground Home” by Rob Roy. Tiny Off-Grid Cabin Is Completely Self-Sustaining. A project 30 years in the making, this tiny off-grid retreat on a coastal island in Maine is almost entirely self-sufficient. Designed and built by Alex Porter for her father, the project features a shed roof and is wrapped in a distinctive blue-grey corrugated skin.
Dwell recently profiled the home, which is the only solar-powered retreat on the isolated island – its sustainable power source actually makes life a lot more leisurely, as the family does not need to schlep in fuel to run a noisy generator. They didn’t give anything up, as they have all the conveniences of a regular home — but with a view you don’t get in an everyday residence. The house is situated on a tiny sleeve of rock tucked close to the water. Given the remote location of the property and the site’s lack of power, the design made careful use of all materials so that everything is spaced on 24-inch centers. Plans for Passive Solar Homes.
Create 25sqft Of Extra Storage By Building These Box Stairs. I know that many tiny houses today don’t have staircases in them because people opt for ladders instead; however, I don’t think ladders are a great option for several reasons. First and foremost, there’s nothing quite like having to climb down a ladder in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
Further, as the home’s inhabitants get older, the use of a ladder will likely become more and more difficult. The good news is that a staircase can work in the right size tiny home and the space underneath it can provide for a lot of storage. Below I show you a step-by-step approach to creating just such a space. In the example shown, the treads (what you step on) are 10″ deep and the risers (the height of each step) are 8 7/8″ tall and the entire unit is built from 3/4″ cabinet grade plywood. Learning how to calculate stairs is a lesson in and of itself, but I’ll give you a quick primer here to get you started. Measure the height of the space requiring stairs. Now, let’s build some boxes… Green Homes – Mother Earth News. EcoShell Construction: Domes for the World. Mushroom Dome Cabin.
Tiny cabin with geodesic dome roof in Aptos, CA. Photos by Morgan. Stay in it here. Tiny Earthen Home Dome. Project led by: Jeffrey Location: Aprovecho, Cottage Grove, OR Date: September 2011 – April 2012 Reclaimed timber ceiling feature, surrounded by earthen plaster The project began with an idea: by reducing the size of a house, we actually increase the space we live in. Having a smaller home forces us outside and into nature. My aim was to make a well built cabin cheaply; using material destined for the landfill as much as possible.I feel that much of the western world has become a ‘throw-away’ society. No longer do we repair our belongings when they wear out or break, but instead we thrown them away and buy new ones. I wanted the cabin to be small, with room enough for only a bed, desk and small wood stove for winter heat.
I decided on the geodesic dome as the shape for my cabin. To begin the project I constructed a nine-foot, ten sided deck using wood salvaged from a torn down shed and concrete pier blocks that were found on site. The skeleton of the dome. Colorado Living Dome. A geodesic dome outfitted for full-time living in Colorado. Dome by DomeGuys International. Clever Make Over Ideas For Your New Home. Green Building 101: Inhabitat. As summer comes to a close, so does our weekly series on green building.
Hopefully we have expanded your knowledge of applying sustainable concepts in your own home, whether it’s a studio rental in the city or a straw-bale abode in the country. Loosely based on USGBC‘s pilot program LEED for Homes, the series has covered subjects ranging from community planning and transportation, to light bulbs and leaky faucets. If you’re arriving for the first time, or you want to review the series, here are the installments in order of appearance… Location & Community >Sustainable Sites >Water Efficiency >Materials & Resources >Indoor Air Quality >Energy & Atmosphere >Environmentally Friendly Lighting >Eco-Power >Appliances, Electronics & Energy Use >Design Innovation > You can also find the complete series any time by clicking the GB101 graphic on our frontpage: Thanks to all of the readers, commenters, and participants who contributed in making this series a community discussion.
. + GB101 Series. After 2,000 Years, Courtyard Houses Are Back. Augusta Raurica/via Courtyard houses made a lot of sense. The residents got outdoor space that was secure and usable at all times of day; nobody had to lock a window or door that opened into the central area. It provided lots of natural ventilation.
The roofs were often used for rainwater collection. Jennifer has noted that they have kept people appropriately warm and cool without high technology- for 4,500 years. Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, they are all the rage again, for many of the same reasons that the Romans loved them 2000 years ago. Today, the courtyard has swung back to being a blend of geometry and nature, transforming from a functional protection from weather and foes to a space that's conducive to spending more time outside.
A slew of new building technologies—particularly in windows, doors and lighting—has also played a role. Old textbook/Public Domain The problem is the planning. . © Studio Junction Courtyard houses make a lot more sense in an urban environment.
Building With Recycled Materials. DIY Furniture & Decorating. DIY Outdoor Ovens, Stoves, Fire Pits: Cheap, Green, Easy. Other People's Related Pearls. Efficient & Affordable Modular House Made From Wood Pallets! Back in 2008, Andreas Claus Schnetzer and Gregor Pils, entered their Paletten Haus into the GAUDI competition, which was seeking designs for minimal houses of leisure for the XXI century. Their pallet house design stole the show and has since gone on to be displayed in many locations around Europe, including Grenoble, Venice, Vienna, Linz and Brussels. Since then, they have also won the 2009 Piranesi Student Honorable Mention. Homes have been made from pallets before, mostly because pallets are really quite useful materials.
They are durable, easily reused and recycled, and they come in standard sizes around the world, making it easy to gain access to the materials no matter where you are. Two layers of pallets serve as the home’s walls, ceiling, and as a sunscreen to shade the structure and allow for ventilation. Affordable Housing Made From Shipping Pallets.
Remember the efficient and affordable Pallet House from last spring? Well designers Andreas Claus Schnetzer and Pils Gregor have bested their original design with an even lower-cost shipping pallet home that was completed this year in South Africa. The 'Slumtube' utilizes discarded pallets along with other local materials like clay and straw to make an insulated and affordable home that can withstand the extremely hot and cold temperatures of Johannesburg.
Schnetzer and Gregor built upon what they learned from constructing modular pallet houses, improving upon their original design to make it even more affordable. In previous designs, the pallets were used as floors, walls, ceilings and cladding, but they required sturdy wood beams, which were the most expensive part of the home. The new round design eliminates some of these expensive beams, but it’s still designed and built to European standards for structural soundness. + PalettenHaus Images © PalettenHaus.