Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Amazing homes

I first heard about Cal earth from Studio 360. T
hese houses are made from adobe and look strikingly similar to the houses on Star Wars. They are comprised of several domes of various sizes made from sand bags and barbed wire. 
What I find really amazing are the qualities of these houses: They can be made entirely from local materials, no trees have to be used, the houses utilize passive heating and cooling, and they can be fitted with traditional doors and windows. The only thing I cannot seem to understand is how the houses could be rigged with electricity. I suppose you could retrofit the houses, but that would detract from their aesthetic appeal. 

The creator of this design was Nader Khalili. He came up with a similar design for housing on Mars (awesome). Plans for these buildings are available on their website, and they are pretty cheap. The ease of constructing one of these houses- three to five people can build the 400 square foot model- and the fact that they can be made from dirt mean that these designs could be really useful for people recovering from a natural disaster. And, on the website the organization offers a how-to movie that uses no words, meaning that language wouldn't be a barrier to learning. 

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