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  1. #1
    breaking out of my cocoon SearchingforPeace's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
    9w8 sx/so
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    Default $20k house...and it's very nice.

    This House Costs Just $20,000—But It’s Nicer Than Yours | Co.Exist | ideas + impact -

    This was a very interesting read. Changing how we think about things like housing could result in better lives, lower costs, and reduced environmental impact.

    For over a decade, architecture students at Rural Studio, Auburn University's design-build program in a tiny town in West Alabama, have worked on a nearly impossible problem. How do you design a home that someone living below the poverty line can afford, but that anyone would want—while also providing a living wage for the local construction team that builds it?

    In January, after years of building prototypes, the team finished their first pilot project in the real world. Partnering with a commercial developer outside Atlanta, in a tiny community called Serenbe, they built two one-bedroom houses, with materials that cost just $14,000 each.

    But the bigger challenge is fitting a house that's completely different than normal into the existing system of zoning, and codes, how contractors do their jobs, and even mortgages.

    "The houses are designed to appear to be sort of normative, but they're really high-performance little machines in every way," says Smith. "They're built more like airplanes than houses, which allows us to have them far exceed structural requirements. ... We're using material much more efficiently. But the problem is your local code official doesn't understand that. They look at the documents, and the house is immediately denied a permit simply because the code officials didn't understand it."


    The goal: To figure out how to bring the ultra-low-cost homes, called the 20K Home, to the broader market. "We're in a kind of experimental stage of the program, where we're really trying to find out the best practice of getting this house out into the public's hands," says Rusty Smith, associate director of Rural Studio. "Really this first field test was to find out all the things that we didn't know, and to find out all of the kind of wrong assumptions that we had made, and really find out how we had screwed up, honestly."


    The foundation of the house, for example, uses cantilevers, seesaw-like joists that help save wood and concrete and actually make the house stronger than a typical foundation would. But the design isn't in the usual guides that code officials consult, so the architects had to go back and explain how it worked.


    "A traditional construction set basically tells a builder what to build," says Smith. "And what we learned that we really need is what we've come to refer to as not a construction set, really an instruction set. That not just tells what to build, but specifically how to build it and even more important, why it should be built that way."


    Once they have the full "instruction set" ready, the team wants to share it with anyone who wants to use it "The ultimate goal of the project is to give it away," he says.


    "We provide the information to you, so that if you wanted to sort of self-service the house yourself, it is a house that with the right set of instructions, anybody who wanted to could build it," Smith says.

    Back in the day, Craftsmen style homes were sold in catalogs and all the pieces shipped to a jobsite with the plans. It would be interesting to have a similar thing today. This could be important down the road....

    It is a 5 minute read at the link (with pictures!)
    Quote Originally Posted by Archilochus
    The fox knows many things--the hedgehog one big one.
    And I am not a hedgehog......


    Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" not "blessed are the conflict avoiders.....

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    “Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984
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  2. #2
    Senior Member bedeviled1's Avatar
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    Nov 2012


    20k? That's amazing. I like the look. I do believe it's time to think outside the box on things like homes...
    "May you live all the days of your life"
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  3. #3
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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    Apr 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by bedeviled1 View Post
    20k? That's amazing. I like the look. I do believe it's time to think outside the box on things like homes...
    you do's a box, right?
    To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
    ~ Elbert Hubbard

    Music provides one of the clearest examples of a much deeper relation between mathematics and human experience.
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  4. #4
    Cyber Strider Korvinagor's Avatar
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    Jan 2017
    9w1 sp/so


    I must say, this is very, very cool. Housing prices are ridiculously high these days, so techniques like these if applied to regular houses would do wonders for young people looking to penetrate the market.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Apr 2008


    I saw a thing about this not too log ago. Also a cardboard house. I was pretty skeptical but $35k, takes 6 hrs to assemble, waterproof and can last 100 years. Of course it's from The Netherlands, they have some excellent housing and repurposing ideas. I'm all for all of these great new ideas.

    Wikkelhouse is made from cardboard and designed to last for up to 100 years.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  6. #6
    Don't touch me. Peter Deadpan's Avatar
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    Dec 2016
    471 sp/sx


    Yes, I'm in...

    ...but why did they put a rug on that bed?
    adjective: deliberately impassive or expressionless.


  7. #7
    Lotus's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    4w5 sp/sx


    That is beautiful! I wouldn't mind living in something like that house.

    There's also a movement in America where people are buying and living in tiny houses, many of which can cost up to a fraction of what an average house in California would probably sell for. Some are even building their own houses.

    What Is The Tiny House Movement? – The Tiny Life
    "If only every generation would realize that the time for greatness is right now when they’re alive…the time to flower is now."

    – Patti Smith
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  8. #8
    Sleeply............. Cat Brainz's Avatar
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    Oct 2016
    973 so/sx
    ILE Ne


    Eh thats not a bad house for the price of a cheapish car. To me in the 21st century this is a century of mobility not just staying fixed in one spot so it makes sense to have cheaper housing that is more about high tech than being of fancy design. After all whats the point in living in a palace if the job to be a king is suddenly moved 2000 miles away.

    Tell me is this a grin of joy or is it a grimace of pain?

    Taking a cat nap
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  9. #9
    empress Nørrsken's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
    947 so/sx


    Okay but I could probably add more pieces of furniture in that house? Just maybe?
    It feels absent.
    I'll follow her into the depths
    I'll find warmth in the steel of her glare
    I'll hear music in the darkness of her silence
    Don't leave me there.

  10. #10
    Musician Forever's Avatar
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    Aug 2013


    The $20,000 is still small unless you're wanting to live a minimalist life. Then yeah, not a bad home.

    I still prefer my parents home.

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