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:

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.

Geodesic Dome exterior

Geodesic Dome exterior

Geodesic Dome interior

 

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.

Wood Pallet Home exterior

Wood Pallet Home exterior

Wood Pallet Home exterior

Wood Pallet Home exterior

Wood Pallet Home exterior

Wood Pallet Home exterior

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.

Shipping Container Home under construction

Shipping Container Home under construction

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home

Shipping Container Home interior

Shipping Container Home interior

Shipping Container Home interior

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.

Yurt construction

Yurt construction

Yurt exterior

Yurt exterior

Yurt exterior

Yurt exterior

Yurt exterior

Yurt exterior

Yurt interior

Yurt interior

Yurt interior

Yurt interior

Yurt interior

Yurt interior

Yurt interior

Yurt interior – modernized!

Yurt interior

Yurt interior

 

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.

Hexayurt basic design

Hexayurt basic design

Hexayurt design variations

Hexayurt construction

Hexayurt construction

Hexayurt double design

Hexayurt

Hexayurt

Hexayurt

 Stay tuned… An Overview of Alternative Housing Designs: Part 4 coming soon!

 

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Photo References:

  • http://ww1.prweb.com/prfiles/2007/06/28/536639/09.JPG
  • http://www.domehome.com/images/400.jpg
  • http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2362/2359772763_22b71b5af1_o.jpg
  • http://www.viahouse.com/2010/10/pallets-house-a-sustainable-home-design-from-recycled-wood-pallets/pallets-house-a-sustainable-home-design-from-recycled-wood-pallets-2/
  • http://thatslikewhoa.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/pallet-house4.jpg
  • http://assets.dornob.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/cargo-container-pallet-home1.jpg
  • http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/08/emergency-shelter.jpg
  • http://www.mnn.com/sites/default/files/styles/node-gallery-display/public/gal_housenight.jpg
  • http://www.mnn.com/sites/default/files/styles/node-gallery-display/public/RedondoBeachHouse.jpg
  • http://www.mnn.com/sites/default/files/styles/node-gallery-display/public/gal_housesub.jpg
  • http://o.homedsgn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Shipping-Container-Guest-House-02.jpg
  • http://www.inspirationgreen.com/assets/images/Blog-Building/Container%20Bldgs/container%20home%2034.JPG
  • http://o.homedsgn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Shipping-Container-House-03.jpg
  • http://g.virbcdn.com/_f/cdn_images/resize_1024x1365/3b/ContentImage-9151-163187-Container23.png
  • http://dz8s0oagnjand.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Six-Oaks-Felton-Container-House.jpg
  • http://dz8s0oagnjand.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Shipping-Container-House-Studio-HT-solar.jpeg
  • http://o.homedsgn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Shipping-Container-Guest-House-01.jpg
  • http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3105/3331616200_1009f3f5a0_o.jpg
  • http://www.jetsongreen.com/images/old/6a00d8341c67ce53ef0115708966db970c-500wi.png
  • http://3.design-milk.com/images/2013/05/roundup-container-homes-adam-kalkin-califon-nj-600×375.jpg
  • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Hexayurt-construction.png
  • http://vinay.howtolivewiki.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/new-all-hexayurts-web-dimensions-incl-big-stretchs-1.jpg
  • http://files.howtolivewiki.com/hexayurt.com/grass_roots_united__haiti_1.jpg
  • http://asset3.cbsistatic.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2011/12/05/Square-Hexayurt_620x410.jpg
  • http://jumplogic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/DSC00338-copy.jpg
  • http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tyJnYuRKRbw/T2zeDOoPMaI/AAAAAAAAAFc/Xhz6WGrlQP0/s1600/IMG_2443.JPG
  • http://www.treebonesresort.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/inside-yurt1.jpeg
  • http://www.highroad.org/ranch%20images/yurt/yurt-wallouter.jpg
  • http://www.earthheartyoga.com/uploads/images/16the_yurt_takes_form_2.jpg
  • http://blog.yurts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Sky-Ridge-Sleeping.jpg
  • http://s3.amazonaws.com/cdnmedia.bookt.com/2255/7402fbc9-00ad-4c1d-90b5-9fd074924d57.jpg
  • http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_xfQExOtN5gg/TLPGv1yXbWI/AAAAAAAAA5I/sjGjEK92ZSg/s1600/BlueRidge+YurtPhoto2.jpg
  • http://blog.yurts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Rosa-Interior-2.jpg
  • http://www.coloradoyurt.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/interior.jpg
  • http://ehoah.weebly.com/uploads/6/8/8/0/6880192/924157681_orig.jpg