One of the more unique recycled home ideas is certainly the Morton Loft in New York City, which was constructed from a disused petroleum trailer tank. The architecture firm LOT-EK, which specializes in building homes from shipping containers, completed this project back in 2000. They used the tank to create 2 sleeping pods, which come complete with hydraulic piston hatchback doors, and 2 capsule bathrooms, which were placed on top of each other. The home was commissioned by Joshua Morton. To build the loft, the architects used a decommissioned tanker trailer, which still shows signs of wear and tear from its days on the road. It once carried 7,200 gallons of gasoline and weighs roughly 100 pounds per linear foot.
Danish architecture student Konrad Wójcik has come up with a very modern and unique way for people to live in the suburbs of large cities, with minimal impact on the natural habitat. At the heart of his so-called “Primeval Symbiosis” plan are tree shaped houses that have a tiny footprint and very little environmental impact on the forests where they could be built. In his design, he drew inspiration from trees and the way animals use them as shelters. His tree houses are powered by renewable energy, while they also fertilize soil, clean the air, provide shade, and have natural ventilation.
Jeffery, a homebuilder specializing in using only natural materials for his construction projects, recently completed a tiny house in the woods. His main goals were to construct a house that was comfortable to live in and cheap to built, and made from materials destined for the landfill as much as possible. The cabin he built contains a bed, desk and a small wood stove. It is intended to serve mainly as a shelter, and therefore encourage the occupant to go out and enjoy nature.
Jay Hicks didn’t miss a beat when he lost his South Carolina cabin to a fire. He decided to build off of the 80-year-old original structure’s partial wall that had remained standing and devised a plan to have Addison Homes design and build a high-performance, energy efficient home that would have an old-world charm.
Fitting the floor plan to the topography and granite subsurface of the site that is located near Caesars Head State Park, Todd Usher, president of Addison Homes, directed workers to follow the flow of the rock shelf and form a foundation of concrete footings made of recycled content. Rigid foam insulation that was placed under the slab serves as a thermal break. The structure is oriented to benefit from passive solar heating and natural daylighting.
The Philadelphia home builders John Westrum Homes have recently built a model modular home in Seaside Heights, NJ, the area where last year’s hurricane Sandy destroyed or damaged 2,200 of 2,400 bungalows and homes. The prototype was constructed to exceed post-hurricane Sandy construction standards of modular components.
Little House on the Trailer is a Petaluma-based company that provides affordable, energy-efficient, and “substantially constructed” houses for today’s mobile home buyers. For example, the company currently has a “Barn Siding Studio” available for immediate delivery for $24,000. The 200 square-foot studio was built on wheels and finished with reclaimed redwood planks. Marin County treats the structure as a shed, according to Little House on the Trailer, but it can be used as an office, backyard retreat, etc.