New Earthships capture more energy, water & food at lower cost

July 12, 2020 john 20 48569 24:18

With walls made from old tires packed with earth, as well as upcycled glass bottles and cans, Earthships have always been built with mainly found materials. The home provides its own energy (with photovoltaics and passive solar and geothermal tubes), water (rainwater and even dew-water capture) and grows food in the essential greenhouse (necessary for…

50 years off-grid: architect-maker paradise amid NorCal redwoods

April 26, 2020 john 20 152668 47:29

In 1968, Charles Bello and his wife, Vanna Rae, moved onto 240 acres of redwood forest looking to live a simpler life off the land. They had spent their savings to purchase the land so they got to work building their home themselves. Their first structure was a panelized A-frame that they erected in 5…

Olive Tree prefab home follows sun & Athos views from a hill

July 9, 2019 john 22 37002 20:10

On a hill in an olive grove overlooking the sea and the monasteries of Mount Athos, Eva Sopeoglou designed a low-maintenance weekend home that reflects a season’s and a day’s evolving sunlight. The project is highly experimental and employs cutting-edge digital CAD/CAM technology in an innovative way. All building components were pre-fabricated, nevertheless, the design…

On designing a stackable, bioclimatic shipping container home

March 4, 2019 john 19 53252 13:17

Motivated by her love of mobile homes and bioclimatic design, as well as the surplus of shipping containers at Athens Port Piraeus, Nastazia Spyropoulou created a passive solar container home that is topped by a living roof and has little need of traditional heating/cooling. Her prototype Cocoon Module is made from a used (though good…

How a vertical lake-cabin added collapsible rooms & roof deck

December 31, 2017 john 20 2025 14:33

William Yudchitz and his son Daniel had already built one modern cabin on their land in far north Wisconsin, but it cost close to $100,000 and they wanted to prove it was possible to build a well-designed tiny home on a budget. Using salvaged material and their own labor- they worked weekends for about a…

Transformer CNC cabin by a lake as father-son work dialogue

December 11, 2017 john 21 30172 20:41

Daniel Yudchitz and his father, Bill, are both architects who took their love of craft, cabins and Swiss precision in architecture (e.g. Peter Zumthor) and created a CNC-cut cabin crafted to a fraction of an inch. The home is built with interlocking structural panels and can be disassembled. In fact, the father/son team built most…

Blogger builds efficient, off-grid Passive House in Colorado

September 25, 2017 john 20 37829 20:14

Twenty years ago Andrew Michler bought a $60,000 solar shack in the Colorado mountains that “immediately fell apart” and inspired two decades of experiments in off-grid living. Today, he and his wife live in the reconfigured shack and he has turned a former shed on the property into an ultra low-consuming Passive House (Passivhaus). “Passive…

Modern cabin hangs like a treehouse over Acadian New England

November 8, 2016 john 20 19834 12:47

Maricela Salas and Mary McGoff admit they were “naive” about buying raw land before making their purchase of a hillside lot in the Berkshires. It turned out to be too steep and rocky for a traditional foundation. To avoid “blasting” and ruining their beloved refuge, their contractor Arthur Jackson (of The Small Building Company) created…

Kristie Wolfe builds underground home & sets rural WA hamlet

September 22, 2016 john 19 39552 25:37

Inspired by the success of the Hawaii treehouse she built for $11,000, Kristie Wolfe began searching for land to build a “Hobbit”-inspired village. Knowing that there is land to be found for cheap in this country (she bought her Hawaii property for $8000), she began to search the Northwest for sites. https://faircompanies.com/videos/building-your-own-hawaii-minimal-house-for-a-vacations-cost/ “There’s a lot…

Aussie couple builds off-grid mobile home with 2 containers

June 5, 2016 john 0 26696 44:44

Paul Chambers had began building a home out of two shipping containers as a project, but when his wife got tired of suburbia and put their four-bedroom home on the market, his project became the couple’s full-time home (Paul’s ebook: www.buildshippingcontainerhous­e.com) Paul and Sarah Chambers were living in rural Scotland when Paul received a job…