|Eco Shelters: Portable, Affordable and Sustainable|
|Sunday, 18 March 2012 10:00 | Written by Dawn Marshallsay | Article|
Having a roof over our heads is a basic human need, but shouldn’t come at the expense of the environment, which houses the rest of the creatures on this planet. There are numerous housing designs that can be self-assembled from recycled materials (and be recycled themselves), are portable and small enough to be shipped with a low carbon footprint, and have lower energy requirements than the four-wall and slate-roof model we take for granted. The building materials are all around us; it’s up to us to put them together.
Instructions for building a yurt and a directory of companies selling ready-made models are good places to start. Eco-Yurts, for example, which range from $6-$10,000 depending on size, are made from local sustainable wood, finished with non-toxic, non-VOC, food-grade Tung oil.
Space efficient, the SHRIMP folds into a quarter of the size of a shipping container, enabling a single shipload to provide housing for roughly 100,000 people, reducing the carbon footprint caused by shipping if transport is required. Designed for emergency situations, the SHRIMP can even float, as it is fixed to six pontoons, making it ideal for flooded areas or for loading the house off a ship that cannot find a place to dock. Each would cost up to $4,000.
The trend in portable environmental housing is to use discarded materials for the frame, which can then be furnished with fabrics to suit the weather and ground conditions. As well as housing refugees from disaster zones, portable homes could shelter the global homeless, save space in crowded cities, and make ideal holiday homes while saving the environment—the ultimate home of all creatures on this planet, including mankind.
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