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  1. Emergency Homeless ShelterEMERGENCY HOMELESS SHELTER   I like to feature Paul Welkins creations here on this website because they are all quality items and he is probably one of the very few persons in the world who invents these great very unique small shelter systems. Everything he designs is affordable to build by most people.

    ►Not long ago I ordered two books from "Zero Yen Houses" by Kyohei Sakaguchi and "Fragile Dwelling" by Margaret Morton. Kyohei's pictorial book shows a striking view of the many homeless older single men living in the cities of Japan, Cabins, Cottages, Small Homes while Margaret spent 10 years documenting and capturing on black and white film telling images of several dozen homeless people in New York City. These books were very moving. After reading them, I couldn't help but to re-visit the bicycle camper and homeless shelter lay-out to see if I could come up with a more practical and useful structure that might be used by a single homeless person or as an emergency shelter, where one or a couple could gain some privacy and sleep. The thousands crowded on the super dome floor during Hurricane Katrina is a good example. After bowing an 8ft flexible strip of wood I settled on a mini Quonset hut design. I liked the potential for inside space and it would be very wind resistant. So with a budget of $100 for materials I went shopping. I bought 4 sheets of 4mm Coroplast from in Seattle. I chose Coroplast for its unique qualities of flexibility, versatility, water resistance, strength, light weight and insulating properties, plus Coroplast is cheap. I used 8in plastic zip ties for assembly and 2in wide colored duct tape to seal out any moisture. I used Lexan plastic for the door window and installed 6 grommeted holes in the floor for spiking the structure to the ground. Except for the hardware, once the shelter is no longer needed it can be recycled.◄
  2. Thunderhouse THUNDERHOUSE   Here's a really nice listing sent to me by the generosity of Mike Bynum of Sarasota County, FL. Thanks Mike. Here's a nice one for you. This little jewel of a cabin is from an article in the Mother Earth News August/September 2000 By Pete and Arlene Charest. It is extremely unique, i think because it was designed for a special purpose or conditions. Be sure to click on the link named "Image Gallery" for some detailed information about the specs of this cabin.

    ►Want to build your dream house for only $2,000? Pete and Arlene Charest's low-impact hideaway cabin provides the answer with their diamond shaped house. We'd had some experience toying with home design, as our livelihood came from selling customized barn and shed plans (a business that was to quickly boom for both of us). Eventually we became so busy that we needed a hideaway cabin to which we could flee during the cold winter months. Buying a secluded piece of Florida property and designing a functional, unique camp building to live in while planning a low-impact house became our focus. Pete built a scale model of a box tipped over on its edge, with one point up, one point down and poles supporting the other two. Everyone laughed when they saw the model sitting on our kitchen counter that fall (there were frequent comparisons to birdhouses), but their doubts disappeared as soon as they saw photos of the little camp we called "The Thunderhouse" that was taking form in the Florida woods.◄
  3. 500 SF Small Conic HomeCONIC SHELTER   Even though most of the shapes displayed on this website are pictures of structures not habitable, actually a person can make many different low cost homes using this system. Picture on the right is of a Conic 500 SF small house. "As Built. This 500 SF residence is built with no rafters or stud walls. The curve shape of the Conic provides all the structure. This Conic is built on grade with a surrounding french drain system. There is no step up or down to enter the structure - a great feature for older folks!"

    ►Welcome to Conic Shelters. Conic Shelters (called "Conics" for short) are a thin-shell architectural form built from square plywood components. Conics are cost effective and highly versatile shelter (no rafters, fast assembly) that can be used for open-air shelter or closed-in residential, shop, or office construction. Multiple insulation options are available. Conic exteriors are typically covered with weather-tight Ames Research elastomeric coatings, Conic Shelters can last up to ten years and then require a single additional layer of elastomeric for another 10 years of service. Available in any color, environmentally friendly, applied by brush or airless spray-on, these coatings are tough and beautiful. Conic Shelters can be constructed in thousands of configurations. Computer models can display a very low-profile configuration made entirely of 3/4in plywood with no rafters or other internal supports. Doors and windows can be added in almost any location without sacrificing structural integrity.◄

    Conics are the lowest cost permanent shelter:

    • Conics are a continuously curved shell made entirely of 1/2in plywood covered with acrylic elastomeric roofing (a water-borne non-toxic paint-on finish).
    • By flexing plywood into this unusual curved geometric shape the conic shell acts as sheathing, structure and roofing. No rafters or costly additional roofing are required.
    • Conics can last for decades with only minimal upkeep. You can build small (500 SF) or very large conic floor plans.
    • There is very little wasted materials because conics are built entirely of 4ftx4ft plywood panels. Conics utilize a unique geometry that provides strength through flexibility.
    • Conics are a true shell-type structure. They have withstood hurricane force winds and will bend to absorb the stresses of the most violent of earthquakes.
    • Coupled with energy and material saving designs, Conics are a habitat that can be built within the carrying capacity of our small planet because they are extremely miserly with building materials.
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  4. This is black Rock CityTHIS IS BLACK ROCK CITY   All i can say is: Wow! Please have a look at this incredible blog which simply is a series of beautiful pictures taken of many different structures set-up at the Nevada Burning Man festival. Billed as: "The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man". No nudity here, just great pictures of structures, some which i am sure can be lived in full time if so desired. Looking for simple structure ideas? This is the place to visit (the blog) for many examples of low cost housing, many whimsical, but many also very practical housing. Also, the blog author has recently finished putting his book together and you can purchase it by clicking here. Picture on the right is of the cover of his book.

    ►For the weeklong Burning Man festival, a temporary city is built in the Black Rock Desert Northwest of Nevada where every year more than 50 000 participants endure extremely harsh living conditions to create an artistic community unique in the world. They settle on a clearly defined layout organically improved over two decades of adaptation to the growth of its population and ever increasing regulations that govern a private event held on public land. The Leave No Trace, Self-Reliance and Decommodification principles condition the nature of its habitat and demand a new approach in urban planning and temporary dwellings viability. To survive in style (or not) a scorching sun, destructive gusts of wind and the omnipresent dust, the Burners, forward-looking citizens, come up with solo and communal camps, fruition of year-long preparation or sheer improvisation, an ephemeral architecture that will vanish leaving deep memories and no trace. I recorded these images after countless hours bicycling the Playa to keep some traces of this urban experiment. These image (too much/too few) are the gift I received from this thriving community. Enjoy, seat back and welcome home again! This blog is a Giganormous labor of love that I want to keep commercial-free adhering to the Decommodification principle. If you share the same view and still read real paper books, you can support my baby (made in true Self-Reliance) illustrating hundreds of solutions built during 15 years in the desert from 1996 to 2010.◄
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  5. Instant Housing WBF 240-GOURBAN NOMADS   This is basically a site located in the country of Germany selling "Instant Shelters". Really well done website and quite a product line. Many different units available for purchase. You will need to use Google translate to read in the english language.

    ►Winfried Baumann (born 1956) created in the last few years an emphatic and an extremely complex creation, which is a blending of Art, Architecture and Design. Since 2001 the artist Winfried Baumann has been building life systems for homeless people and other urban nomads. Under the brand urban nomads all the projects of Winfried Baumann are combined and they are all concerned with mobility, housing, provisions and locomotion. The most comprehensive group of works is Instant Housing. Instant Housing are small mobile homes, which are designed for the special living circumstances of their users and which are manageable by one person. He also created some other projects for this line: Instant Cooking (nomadic mobile kitchen), Instant Help (medical help for homeless people), Instant Exhibition (mobile living and exhibition systems) and Instant Shelter (emergency aid). Winfried Baumann merges the bounds between art work, design and social activism. As a skilled sculptor he creates objects with a functional attributes which always have an exemplary and sculptural character. Do you have any question about urban nomads and the work of Winfried Baumann? Don't hesitate to contact his studio in NÜrnberg.◄
  6. Concrete Cube Cabin CONCRETE CUBE CABIN   This is my own concept or idea. I do not know of anyone who has actually tried making a cabin with this method. They use heavy-duty cranes to place these cubes in the desired location. I was thinking maybe a large forklift could be used to unload these from the truck and also used to manipulate the cubes into position. Heavy-duty glass windows could be installed on both ends, one with a sliding glass door.

    ►Standard Specification for Precast Reinforced Concrete Box Sections for Culverts, Storm Drains, and Sewers. Reinforcement in precast box sections shall conform to ASTM Specifications A185. Minimum Concrete Strength shall be 5,000 psi at 28 days. Joints shall be sealed with mortar, mastic or flexible butyl rubber sealants. Contact our plant for all sizes and weights that are available.◄
  7. ZomicileZOMICILE   This system produces beautiful jewel like structures never before seen.

    ►The Zomicile is a Modular Prefab building system which uses a Rigid Panel Tension System© to balance and distribute the compressive and tensile forces of the structure using a unique slotted panel and gusset design. Zomadic, LLC is a Design and Fabrication company based in San Francisco, California. We specialize in helping designers, builders and makers of all sorts realize their ideas using digital technology. We also have skill and passion for all things polyhedral, geodesic and synergetic. The Zomicile is the fruition of a ongoing research and development project to design an inexpensive, easy to manufacture, easy to construct, redeployable polyhedral shelter. The Rigid Panel Tension System© system allows the structure to be easily assembled and disassembled; it also enables a Zomicile to be redesigned or upgraded using the same panels. This saves materials and money. Start small and grow big. And using our system Zomes can also be connected and mated with each other in an astounding variety of ways. Visit to learn more.◄
  8. Cocoon CabinCOCOON   This is actually a rental unit in Australia. Wye River is a small town in Victoria, Australia situated some 96 miles west of Melbourne, on the Otway Coast part of the scenic Great Ocean Road. Wye River is a popular tourist destination about 9 miles west of the resort town of Lorne, Victoria, Australia. The shape appears to be that similar to a blimp or dirigible.

    ►This cocoon for weekend living is situated in a bushy coastal hamlet on the Great Ocean Road. The steepness of the site, the dramatic views and the sometimes harsh climate resulted in a object house that whilst protecting from the elements, opened one side to the landscape. In principle this is a matchbox inside an egg, a rectangle within an oval. Inside, the spaces dovetail together with the economic precision of a small boat or caravan. The light weight monocoque structure is a hybrid of techniques appropriated from boat building and aircraft engineering. The path to building this home was one of unleashing the pragmatic inside the poetic.◄
  9. Fab Lab HouseFAB LAB HOUSE   This is a true irregular shelter and this website linked here has some very good pictures of this very unique home. Also, need to mention that the website is in the Spanish language and at the top of the site are two tabs one for English and one for Spanish.

    ►For 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe, The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) have designed the new generation Fab Lab house to be displayed. They have created the Solar House which is to not industrialize but allow any person to manufacture anywhere in the world, from the platform of Fab Labs, or fabrication laboratories. The production methodology of the house is founded in a structure fabricated from common materials sourced globally such as plywood panels, etc., and in the use of locally found machinery there are laser cutting and/or milling machine. This new generation Fab Lab house is definitely a very affordable housing solution, designed with a combination of simple construction, geometric sophistication and technological wealth, both in its creation as an energy system as well as in the active and passive management of the house. The selection of wood, not steel, as the basic structural material is deduced from two lines of thought, the first being that a solar house must be reduced from a solar material and the second that the choice of wood leads to structural elements and components which are small, light and manageable. The architects propose a pre-fabricated wooden construction in which all its structural components are laser cut from a 1220×1440mm plywood sheet. Through the utilization of a global network of production laboratories (FabLab's), the architects begin to promote the idea of using the Internet to make things. Faced with the typical house model of a 'box construction' made up of standard industrialized components, the architects chose to build a clever house with systemic logic components, rising into what we call a distributed intelligence. A standard paraboloid section is positioned for suitable solar tracking (per year per day), and deformed in appropriate steps aimed towards an optimal orientation for summer. The Solar FabLab house not only has a rounded shape that allows for maximum internal volume with minimal exterior surface but is elevated off the ground upon three 'legs', in order to create a space under the house for the development of certain outdoor activities.◄
  10. Primitive ShelterGOAHTI (Primitive Shelter Hut).   I think the language used on this website is 'Norwegian' and i am having a very difficult time finding a translating service, but the pictures do tell a story of how to construct this nice looking primitive shelter. This link takes you to a step by step picture sequence showing the construction of this shelter using commonly available natural material if you have a forest available for your own personal use. Click on the word: "Lysbildevisning" which means "Slide show" to view larger pics of the construction steps. The picture on the right is of the completed exterior. There are pictures on the second page which show some interior pictures. Actually, some of the heavier framing members might be a little difficult to make and would be quite time consuming to fashion, in my opinion. I have been able to translate enough of the language to determine that this particular article is about duplicating a "Sami" (Norwegian Eskimo type people) primitive hut making technique. And thanks to "Joely Pozole" for sending me this listing.

    ►Norwegian Saami Association is a Sami Association who both actively engaged in cultural, social and educational work through their local branches and standing for election to the Sami Parliament. NSR collects Sami from all areas and from all industries and interest groups to work for the common good through Sami Sami Parliament. Since foundation in 1968, the NSR has been an option for all Sami people to make their voice current in the Norwegian and the international community. NSR has been a clear Sami voice in reconstruction and development of the Sami society and culture for 40 years, and NSR will continue as an independent, Sami voice in the future. Go to the NSRs website for more information.◄
  11. Generic Escape CapsuleGENERIC ESCAPE CAPSULE   Shown in the picture on the right is one of the many works of the famous artist "Adam Norton" based in Sydney, Australia. Displayed here with a link to his website is the work entitled: "Generic Escape Capsule. When you visit his site, you will be shown the different operations this module is capable of, such as for sleeping, cooking your meals, potty use, eating your meals, brushing your teeth, & writing. This clothes closet looking structure does not take up very much space and would be quite cheap to build. And, possibly a person could mount wheels underneath and attach a hitch for pulling behind a bicycle, which i have thought of before to use with my laptop computer at the harbor where i live which has free WiFi.

    ►Born in 1964, and lives in Sydney, Australia: Adam Norton is primarily an investigator of technology. He prods and pokes at the analogue past in an attempt to find residual life in it and to discover some meaning which might have a bearing on the present. His works have been included in exhibitions in Australia, the UK and the Netherlands. Recently he has exhibited elements of a new body of work called Das Marsprojekt. For his sabbatical he is planning a walking tour of the slopes of Olympus Mons.◄
  12. Hobo's Underground HomeMOONLIGHT CHRONICLES   This is quite a deal. Very nice website presenting not only a true alternate lifestyle, but also has good pictures of his underground abode which is also pictured on the right. It seems this man lives around the Enterprise, Oregon area (in the summertime). But, this guy appears to be quite artistic and capable of designing a small underground home which not only looks good, but functions well, not junky.

    ►Thank you for stopping by for a visit. They call me the Hobo because 20 years ago i shed most of my conventional ways in order to live the most simple life possible. I live in a tiny underground room. I read books and do not own a TV. There is no plumbing. I drive rarely and pedal often. Meals are mostly uncooked. Throughout all those years i have kept 74 illustrated journals called "Moonlight Chronicles" of all my experiences, and offer them to my fans. It is now one of the oldest running zines in America. Buddistic ways were followed for many years but now a new religion called Surfing has been discovered, so i go to Hawaii for the winter months, riding the waves and listening to their sermons. Summers are spent back home caretaking an Eastern Oregon meadow, writing, drawing, bike tripping and train hopping. I always tell my closest friends that i never fear death. Since taking that leap of faith 2 decades ago, the extraordinary experiences have been enough to fill several lifetimes. If all this sounds interesting to you please join in the journey by ordering a few Chronicles. I mostly travel solo but love to share the adventures through the journals.   ~HOBO◄
  13. Sample sheep wagon built by ownerIDAHO SHEEP CAMP   I have never seen this before. I have known about sheep wagons, but did not realize that someone was still building them from the ground up and selling them to the general public. This Idaho business specializes in making sheep wagons. They have a nice website with lots of good pictures of their wagons. You could live in one of these wagons, if you want.

    ►Building Sheep Wagons is our Passion. Each wagon is built from the ground up. We can build your dream wagon. Sheep Wagons Starting at $8300.00. Our Wagons Are great For Farms or Ranches, Wagon trails, Parades, Guest cabins, awesome writers studio, Studios, display, Events, Child's Play House. They Brings back family memories. And Create family Memories. We can Custom Design YOUR Sheep Wagon to MEET your WANTS and NEEDS. We take great pride to adhere to traditions of wagon building. Delivery Available.◄
  14. Tire Bale TIRE BALE CONSTRUCTION   Here is some more information for you on this relatively new use of discarded tires. This is the website of "Touch The Earth Construction" located in Colorado, i think.

    "Tire-bales are "big rubber bricks". Place them in the wall with a large fork-lift, a hay-grapple, larger size skid-steer w/forks (3,000# tipping weight, minimum), or a backhoe. They're made in an hydraulic press, click here to see the press exerting extreme forces to compress approximately 100 tires into a "brick" 2-1/2ft x 5ft x 5ft, weighing ~2,000#, wrapped with (5) .113 inch dia. steel wires pre-formed into square-knot ends which are hooked together when the press reaches it's compression capacity. The press is then released and the bale is completed. The bale is now the density of most wood, weighing in at roughly 50 pounds per cubic foot and containing only 5% air."
  15. Culvert House THE CULVERT HOUSE   This is a good website for those of you who would consider building a home using a steel culvert as a shell.

    ►Imagine a house, here in the Cincinnati area. Whose shell was impervious to even severe weather hazards, whose monthly energy cost for heating and cooling was negligible, whose energy & water systems were designed for ease of maintenance & usage, whose floor plan was ergonomically designed to support your extended family's desires for both private space and communal resource sharing including areas for their home based businesses, whose landscaping was natural and suitable for experimenting in minimal agriculture, whose interior environmental systems offered pure air and drinking water with hazards designed out and simple hedonistic pleasures designed in, but whose building cost was minimal relative to standard construction. How much convention would you be willing to dispense with to meet these specs? The shell of the house as described being a steel culvert, normally used for drainage systems and road work which gives the house an extremely economical and structurally strong basis.◄
  16. Disaster Shelter UTAH SHELTER SYSTEMS   Very interesting site dedicated to underground steel shelters.

    ►UTAH SHELTER SYSTEMS manufactures and equips multi-hazard home and corporate shelters. The company also offers consultation in the production of concrete shelters and the re-furbishing and updating of existing shelters. Utah Shelter Systems is owned and managed by Paul Seyfried and Sharon Packer. Paul and Sharon have been building shelters since 1986, and incorporated Utah Shelter Systems in 1998. The shelters can be constructed of either corrugated steel or steel plate and can withstand blasts up to the 150 psi range. Each shelter is customized to your size requirements, individual needs, and the potential threat to your location. The shelters are manufactured in North Salt Lake, Utah and transported throughout the entire United States and Canada. Sharon and Paul also own the company, ANDAIR USA, Inc. and are the United States distributors of the Swiss made Luwa of Andair AG located in Andelfingen Switzerland. This company provides ventilation systems, blast valves, air filtration systems, and chemical biological protection for home, corporate, military and government facilities.◄
  17. Exclusive Tents EXCLUSIVE TENTS   Trust me. This is a beautiful site. Worth visiting even if you are not interested in using canvas as a sheathing material for a home or dwelling. These folks bring tent and canvas to it's highest level. Very interesting website with lots of great pictures. You will not be disappointed.

    ►Welcome To A Whole New World of Ultra-Luxury African Canvas Safari Tents, Eco-Lodge, Island Dwelling, Spa, Tree House, Alternative Living and Resort Tents. With its origins in Safari-Tented Lodges out of Africa, Exclusive Tents specializes in supplying a unique range of ultra luxury canvas tented accommodation around the globe from Australia to Alaska and beyond. Manufactured to perfection, our tents are designed to be eco-friendly and aesthetic, to blend into their environment and are perfectly designed for 5 Star Eco Lodges, Luxury Resorts & Spa's, Health Resorts, Boutique Lodges, Tree Houses and Romantic Island Retreats, etc. Simple Recipes All of our tents leave only a green footprint on the environment, be it by the ocean coastline, on the beach, in the countryside, on an estate, remote logistical expedition base camps or as a private lake cabin in paradise. Our tents are all 4-season and do well in any climates from high rainfall tropical climates to dry desert environments; offering a unique alternative in architectural style - 5 star flair elegance and the romance of living under canvas. With our exquisite and exotic designs our tents have also been used for pavilions, weddings, spas, yoga, meditation and spiritual retreats. Though our tents look like they could fit well into an Indiana Jones movie, they did appear in 'The Lost World', as they would in any Arabian, Moroccan, Mediterranean or Middle Eastern setting. Be it the universal adventure tourist on a relaxing vacation, or someone with the will to explore remote expedition like locations, they will love the real experience of residing in our beautiful fabric structures, bringing their total experience, so much closer to nature. We can custom design your tent to meet your specific requirements or we can also make minor custom changes to existing designs to meet many of our customers special requirements. We specialize in alternative, green, sustainable and organic architectural design. Canvas and tents combined is the ultimate in the outdoor living experience. We work very closely with our customers to develop and try to meet all of their tenting requirements, to ensure that we aspire to meet most of all their expectations. We pride ourselves in the level of customer service and attention to detail that we offer from first contact until well after setup.◄
  18. Bamboo River House BUILDING WITH BAMBOO   Actually, this is a big subject from a world view because many parts of the world are capable of growing large quantities of this vegetable which is very strong. The link provided here takes you to a website dedicated to making all kinds of things out of Bamboo. Also, included is a section specializing in habitable dwellings. The picture on the right is of a house built from Bamboo in Costa Rica. "Bamboo Riverhouse Construction - Costa Rica - Vegetable Steel."

    ►We represent individuals, groups, and organizations from around the world who share special interests in bamboo. Our main interest has been to provide a platform for the exchange of information, ideas and experiences on all aspects regarding bamboo and it's usage. Our membership has grown to represent over 90 countries, and many are interested in learning more about the amazing diversity and endless applications and uses of bamboo.
    On one side is the intimate character of bamboo that lends itself to small scale craft and construction uses. On the other side are the growing forces that wish to mold bamboo into larger scale usage through industrial applications and the use of advanced technologies. Our preference is to focus our efforts towards those involved in smaller scale applications who might benefit the most. However we have no real 'mission' or agenda other than to provide this service with the limited resources we have available and hope that the information provided herewith through the contributions made by our membership will be of use. The subject of bamboo covers a wide array of topics of which these forums provide the ability to focus on the smallest of details. Feel free to address any specific issues or search the forums for relevant topics that interest you. Please bear with us as we have plans to organize and improve the sites presentation for easier access to information.◄
  19. Cal-Earth Structure CAL-EARTH   Using a simple sandbag-and-barbed-wire technology, named Superadobe these folks have developed a unique low-cost housing system. This unique company located in Hesperia, California teaches people how to build shelters using sandbags (earthbags) and barbed wire. Visit this incredible website even if you have no interest in the subject.

    ►Cal-Earth (The California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture) is at the cutting edge of Earth Art and Ceramic Architecture technologies today. Founded and directed by the internationally renowned architect and author Nader Khalili in 1986, it's scope spans technical innovations published by NASA for lunar base construction, to design and development of housing for the world's homeless for the United Nations.◄
  20. Port-A-Hut PORT-A-HUT  This business is located in Storm Lake, Ohio. Originally used for housing livestock, but can be adapted for human use. Well, that's my personal opinion, not the manufacturer's opinion. So you the reader of this will have to decide for yourself if this is a good idea or not. I would imagine that the walls would collect a lot of water from human perspiration. So, you would probably be wise to cut out and frame-in windows of some sort to provide a source of fresh air. If you do not ventilate this properly you could suffocate and die.

    ►Port-A-Hut, Inc. has been manufacturing portable shelters since 1964. The owners raised hogs in a pasture setup for over 40 years. All equipment was tested on the farm before manufacturing. As the word spread about the portability and ease of assembly, so did the uses. Nowadays the small huts and the larger shelters are used for all types of livestock and many other uses like lawn and garden shelters or garages. Port-A-Hut shelters are used for swine, calves, goats, sheep, horses, ostrich, emu, llamas, dogs, even some zoo animals. Port-A-Huts are used in all sizes of farming operations.◄
  21. Flying ConcreteFLYING CONCRETE   This is the website of Steve Kornher, an expert in building with "Light Weight Concrete": Born in Gooding, Idaho USA, 1950. 30 years building experience, 15 of those years in Mexico. I have been interested in Alternative Building Practices for most of this time and have worked with adobe and rammed earth as well as various types of concrete masonry construction.
    Author of: "The Complete Handbook of Solar Air Heating Systems, Rodale Press, 1984". He also does consulting work - contact him.

    ►Concrete is strong in compression and the best way to take advantage of this property is by building structures that are inherently self-supporting and don't need a lot of iron reinforcing. Since most building here in Mexico is with concrete, it is easier to let your imagination go wild. Local builders have been working with ferro-cement, styrofoam panels, plastered straw bale, and soil-crete. I have had the most success with light weight concrete. Light weight concrete differs from heavy concrete by it's use of naturally light weight materials (aggregates) such as pumice (volcanic stone) in place of the sand and gravel used in ordinary structural concrete mixes. It only weighs half as much. Not all concrete is ugly, hard, cold and difficult to work with. There exists a whole range of light weight concretes "which have a density and compressive strength very similar to wood. They are easy to work with, can be nailed with ordinary nails, cut with a saw, drilled with woodworking tools, easily repaired. We believe that ultra-light weight concrete is one of the most fundamental bulk building materials of the future.◄
  22. EcohabECO HAB   This appears to be a relatively new business located in England. Looks to be a high quality very efficient small home design. Very Beautiful indeed.


    Eco Hab is committed to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint, by building a range of the highest performing energy efficient Eco friendly Homes.

    Every step has been taken during the design and construction of our Eco Pods, to minimize the Homes demand and dependency of fossil fuels.

    This has been achieved by incorporating the following features:

    • High level of thermal insulation giving an overall U value
    • Of up to .18 for the 4m pod and .16 for the 6m pod
    • Sealed Envelope (no air leakage)
    • Hot air recovery ventilation
    • Wood/ solid fuel burning stove
    • Under floor heating
    • Full recycling facility (5 separate waste shoots)
    • Factory built (controlled work environment)
  23. 12FT X 12FT Pyramid Cabin12FT X 12FT PYRAMID CABIN   Another outstanding project by Paul Welkins. Just think, using this system you could make yourself a pretty comfortable tiny cabin for a very small amount of money. I like this creation a lot, possibly the best one i have seen.

    ►Next year will be my wife's first time at Burningman, so being a semi-veteran burner I've taken it upon myself to make this a pleasant experience for her, but like most north westerners she doesn't do well in heat. (Not a good thing for a weeks stay on an unforgiving desert). I chose foil backed foam board as a building material after reading about the "Hexayurt". These structures claim to keep the interior about 10 or 15 degrees cooler than the blazing outside and manage to keep most of the dust out. Not being a conventional guy, after many doodles and several cardboard models I opted for a pyramid shape. After some trepidation I bought the materials and created what you see here. We've grown to really like this shelter and it's many attributes. It's very roomy for 10 sheets of material, plenty of head room, a vaulted ceiling, and storage galore! The dining area has bubble windows that you can pear out of while sitting comfortably. It also holds up fabulously to strong winds to where I may just use mitered 2x4x12ft boards running along the base to keep it from blowing away. The cost is around $300 once you add everything up. Not bad for a light weight, reusable home away from home.◄
  24. A-Frame CabinA-FRAME CABINS   I think the old A-Frame design offers at least one low cost solution to building a shelter. Visit this link for an old A-Frame plan from U-Bild. A-Frame Cabin (Plan No. 381).

    ►U-Bild has provided America's favorite woodworking plans since 1948. U-Bild project plans are ideal patterns for woodworkers and do-it-yourselfers of all skill levels. U-Bild plans offer unique "trace, saw and assemble" designs that feature simple-to-follow patterns (like sewing patterns). Even beginners can achieve professional wood working results. Each do-it-yourself plan features detailed step-by-step instructions, full-size traceable patterns (where needed), in-progress photos, isometric diagrams and complete materials lists and cutting schedules.◄
  25. Tek YurtFOLDED HOMES   This is a good website with plenty of pictures of their products. Be sure and visit their "Our Shelters" section. They have a lot of stuff.

    ►Folded Homes provides environmentally appropriate and cost-effective solutions to human shelter needs. Our shelters are great for personal and business applications. But the company's mission is particularly focused on helping address humanitarian shelter crisis. We believe that a truly effective humanitarian shelter solution is one that quickly delivers large numbers of easy-to-assemble, language-neutral, low-cost, four-season shelters even to locations where transportation infrastructure may have broken down. Folded Homes structures are based on origami architecture and manufactured from safe, recyclable materials. Properly maintained, they will last years. Yurt shelters offer an elegant, utilitarian solution to both emergency and personal use applications. They are easy to assemble without tools, ladders, scaffolding or power. Our LiteYurt is a superior, price-competitive alternative to the refugee tent that is so simple to assemble that the manual is textless. Thousands can be delivered within weeks. Combine a UtiYurt or more sophisticated TekYurt to create complex, four-season, multi-room structures and compounds suitable for refugees, clinics, schools, aid mission teams, or your family or back-country business location. Customize the yurts with doors and windows from our shelter accessories kits. Pod shelters invoke 'buildings as art' to provide you with a signature structure when your event, trade-show booth, or personal shelter demands a truly beautiful space.◄
  26. BUILDING THE EARTHBAG DOME HOUSE   For those of you interested in building the Earthbag Dome house this video on the right will show how it is done correctly. You can pause the video anytime to study the current step being done. Notice how these people pay attention to detail in order to get a nice looking finished product. Also notice that some tools they use are homemade. Also be sure and enjoy the nice music accompanying this video.
  27. Pallet HousePALLET HOUSE   This is a side project by a business called i-beam design.This is an interesting project with some good pictures included. It consists of a framework built using pallets, but unfinished as far as sheathing is concerned.

    "Prototype built for the architecture triennale in milan, italy, "casa per tutti", 2008."

    ►I-Beam Design was founded by Suzan Wines and Azin Valy in 1998. The firm has received numerous awards, most notably, first prize in the International Open Competition for the redesign of Lt. Petrosino Park in Lower Manhattan and an honorable mention for their solution to Transitional refugee Housing for the returning refugees of Kosovo, sponsored by Architecture for Humanity. Both projects were featured in the 7th International Architecture Venice Biennale. I-Beam Design is an innovative New York based architecture and design firm whose various architecture, interior design and public art projects are based on the principal that space as a fluid medium should be adaptable and responsive to site conditions and inhabitant's needs. We design flexible matrixes that are able to evolve according to changing environmental factors and input from the users. This expansive approach leads to dynamic and playful solutions. Each project is treated as a unique set of relationships, and the design emerges from an analysis of the parallels between the existing infrastructure, natural features and cultural identity of the site. As a result, our projects are always site specific. All architectural elements are designed to efficiently satisfy spatial, functional and programmatic requirements simultaneously. The built environment is a complex network of interdependent systems whose equilibrium is in a constant state of flux. Our work celebrates the conceptual and experiential potential that chance brings to architecture as we seek to build places that are "alive".◄
  28. Tubohotel 3 Stack Bedroom SetTUBOHOTEL   These rooms (or sleeping rooms) are made from concrete drain pipe and each contains a queen size bed for a good nights sleep. These units are really just a nice place to sleep, you can't take a shower in them and there is probably no toilet. Shower & toilet facilities are in a separate building. As of this date: 7-11-11, rent is $500 pesos a night or approximately $42 USD a night/365 days a year (500 Pesos per night per room (2 guests).

    ►TuboHotel is located in the Magic Village of Tepoztlan, Morelos about 45 minutes south of Mexico City on the other side of the mountain range. Tap here for a google map of Tubohotel. The most convenient airport is the Mexico City Airport. Physically and spiritually we are located on the return to the Tepoztlan – Mexico City toll road. When you exit the toll road at Tepoztlan from Mexico City, take your first U turn to the left. Ask Uncle Pepe, he will show you. Cross the bridge overpass and TuboHotel is located on the right. Use the lateral road towards the road to San Juan. If you are coming from Cuatla/Oaxtepec on the toll road, take the Tepoztlan exit and immediately on your right will be TuboHotel. If you are arriving on the federal highway from Cuernavaca, take a left towards the toll road before the gas station (only one in town), cross the bridge overpass, and Tubohotel will be on your right. Just like in life, Young Jedi, there are many ways to arrive at your chosen destination. Give us a call and a Tubo-Assistant will help you find your way in a chaotic world.◄
    Take A Break . . . Click Here!

  29. Zirkon TipiTHE STUNNING TENTS COMPANY   WOW! This is really a cool site. This business specializes in modern fabric covered tipis ranging from smaller personal sizes up to tents which can cover large groups of people. Their designs are very good in my opinion.
    As they say: ►Unusual and highly practical equipment for an outdoor life. Giant wooden pole tents, camping tents, heating, cooking and much more. Everything to equip occasional family camping trips, extreme expeditions and permanent corporate installations.◄

    ►There are many different tent fabrics used by many tent manufacturers. Often the fabrics look alike when they are new, but the differences are quite substantial. A poor quality tent will let you down just when you need it the most. Tent fabrics intended for all-year-round usage must meet up to rigorous demands. We have chosen fabrics that best meet these various requirements and needs. Come and see us at our warehouse and we can show you every type and size of Tentipi tent from Safir 5 to Stratus 72. And all the accessories. PRICE PROMISE: If you can find the same Tentipi product elsewhere for less, we'll match the price.◄
  30. Tire BalerENCORE SYSTEMS   This is a company in Moorhead, Minnesota that makes "Tire Balers". They refer to themselves as "The World Leader in Tire Baling Technology".

    "Most people don't realize that hidden beneath all this negativity is a valuable building block. Many tire recycling options available in the market today require very expensive start-up and operating costs. More pollution can result in the end. At Encore Systems, our tire baling equipment compresses whole passenger tires, light truck tires and commercial truck tires into a single bale measuring 30in X 50in X 60in. Our equipment is also capable of baling other recyclables such as cardboard, aluminum, etc. The completed bales are easily handled with a fork-lift, front-end loader or logger's clam."
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