The Colorado-based Formworks Building Inc. has been specializing in earth sheltered building technology since 1979. The main idea behind their buildings is the creation of sustainable, affordable housing. Formworks structures have an estimated usable life span of over one hundred years without any major maintenance. These houses are built into the earth surrounding the building site, which has the added bonus of protecting the home from raging storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, mudslides and so on.
The students of New Caney Independent School District (ISD), TX have partnered up with the Piney Woods United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Branch of Montgomery County in an effort to build a green home from recycled shipping containers. This home will serve as a demonstration house and is will be the first of its kind in the country. Once they finish it, the home will be open to the public in order to demonstrate the latest technologies in the areas of energy efficiency, recycling, water management, and use of readily available green products.
The Rural Studio members, founded in 1993 by Sam Mockbee, have been perfecting the design of the so-called 20K House for the last twenty years. The project was started by Mockbee who created a program where Auburn University’s architecture students could use reclaimed wood or natural other materials to design houses for low-income residents of Hale County, AL. For the past ten years, the students have been building these homes for the poor living in the Black Belt area of Alabama. But now the 20K house is being put on the general market.
This innovative shipping container home measures 500 square feet including the deck space, and is located in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It comes complete with a small dipping pool and would make a great beach home or lake cabin. While this small home can be hooked up to utilities, it is designed to also function completely off the grid.
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The Nomad Micro home is the brainchild of Vancouver architect Ian Kent, who is currently raising funds to begin producing the home through an Indie Go Go campaign. The Nomad Micro Home can be described as a sustainable tiny house kit. It is so small and lightweight that the buyer can ship it anywhere in the world, and once it arrives, anyone with some basic carpentry skills can assemble it on their own.
The Nomad Micro Home measures a measly 10×10 feet and features a living room, kitchen, and an upstairs sleeping loft. However, due to the size constraints, several of these serve a double purpose. For example, the shelves in the kitchen are also the stairs to the loft area and the whole bathroom is also a shower. The Nomad is designed to house one or two people, though several house kits can be assembled together to make a larger home.
Julio Garcia, an artist, architect and designer famous for his mixed media prints built for himself a home and studio from shipping containers in Savannah, Georgia. In creating his home, he drew inspiration from his art in trying to create a house that joins disparate elements into a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. The industrial recycled shipping containers he used to build his home are juxtaposed against the lush natural environments of the Savannah wilds. To create his home, Garcia used two shipping containers made obsolete by the one-way flow of goods from China to the US through the Savannah port.