I came across this article in the Oregonian this morning (and haven’t been able to stop making puns about it since).
A company that used to build commercial car carriers is now building homes out of junked cars (those pancaked stacks you see on trucks). It takes four to six of these cars to provide enough steel for the frame of the house.
What seems especially cool is that not only are they recycling cars to make these houses, they’re also making them energy efficient and affordable:
“Over the course of a year, the team made energy efficiency their mantra. They emphasized a tight structural envelope encased in rigid foam insulation and slathered wall cavities and crawl spaces with blown-in foam insulation for a more airtight seal. The finished, insulated crawl spaces between floors containing the home’s heating, ventilating and cooling systems allow for shorter duct runs and smaller, high-efficiency furnaces”
…”What’s more, Boydstun’s experimental model home—based on a stock plan from a magazine—was completed for $95 a square foot.”
Not to mention it only takes 45 days to build one, instead of six to nine months, and with five workers instead of fifteen.
We're in our Spring Fund Drive—make a gift now to support more research like this!
It’s not all rosy, though. They houses they’re building are described as “suburban”–and as Clark pointed out last week, suburbs might not be the most carbon-friendly option. Still, while the article highlights a 2,600 sq. foot home, most of the homes on their website measure in under 2,000 sq. foot (the average home size in the US in 2004 was 2,300 sq. foot). And, there doesn’t seem to be any barrier to building smaller homes for compact communities using the same principles—indeed, they’re working on a 1,200 sq. foot cottage model.
And now for the real question: does the house have four doors or two?
Junked car photo courtesy of Flickr user Summersumz under a Creative Commons license.
Home photo courtesy of mirandahomes.com.