If you read my article on building an intentional community, you’ll see that I am strongly recommending bypassing the traditional mortgage path and promoting build-it-yourself, alternative housing. I have shared a few posts in the past on some of the alternative housing options, but I thought it would be fun to give a brief overview of the more common (of the overall uncommon) alternative housing options that are available today.
Obviously, the photos in this article are just a sampling of what exists and what is possible. These photos are meant to give a general sense of what a building style looks like.
As I started to put this article together, I realized it was going to be photo intensive. I decided to break it up into a few parts:
- Part one covers Adobe, Earthbag, SuperAdobe, and Cob Homes.
- Part two covers Straw-Bale, Earthship, Earth-Sheltered, and Cordwood Homes.
- Part three covers Geodesic Domes, Wood Pallet Homes, Shipping Container Homes, Yurts, and Hexayurts
Tooday, we will cover Geodesic Domes, Wood Pallet Homes, Shipping Container Homes, Yurts, and Hexayurts.
Geodesic Dome Home: A spherical structure composed of triangular elements, developed by Buckminster Fuller. Once popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s, it has since become significantly less popular. While very strong, and still popular with some, it is typically considered to have too many disadvantages.
Wood Pallet Home: Using 80 pallets (of the 150 million taken to landfills each year), a person could build a house 10×20 feet (3×9 meters), not including windows, doors, or utility elements. Still experimental, but it has a lot of potential.
Here is a link to a great article on a Wood Pallet Home with a video: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2242244/The-homes-discarded-pallets-house-world.html
Shipping Container Home: The steel shipping containers used on cargo ships, trains, and trucks are used as the main structural element for these homes. They are inexpensive, strong, durable, modular, and widely available. They require some ingenuity and metal working/welding skills to make habitable, but they are a reasonalbe and unique home option. I have to say, I was most surprised with how amazing these homes can be.
Yurt: A round, semi-permanent tent originating in Central Asia. Modern materials can make a yurt a very reasonable, inexpensive, temporary home. Some people choose to make a yurt more permanent and invest quite a bit of money into its construction.
Hexayurt: Initially designed as an emergency temporary relief shelter, the hexayurt is a now gaining popularity as a temporary home. It is built using standard 4×8 foot panels (OSB, plywood, foam/hexacomb cardboard) and tape or brackets. These are very simple and very cheap.
Stay tuned… An Overview of Alternative Housing Designs: Part 4 coming soon!
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