View Full Version : Alternative Housing Options

20th March 2010, 04:45
Unique Housing construction...?
Bankers don't like them... anymore
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704398804575071381513802938.html?m od=yhoofront

What can we do so that we don't just cave in to the Bankers' demands?

20th March 2010, 05:54
From the WSJ article:
Like many Americans, Jon and Laura Hagar are searching for a lender to refinance their home loan. But banks are leery of the Hagars. Their rural Colorado house is made of 17,000 old tires.

A niche mortgage mess is brewing in homes made of earth, tires, concrete and trash. Environmentally minded people built them, hoping to conserve energy and to re-use what might otherwise wind up in a landfill.
Now go look at http://earthship.net/ and see what Michael Reynolds has done.

I own two of the man's books and what he has done is incredible. Houses that:
Heat and cool themselves naturally via solar/thermal dynamics.
Collect their own power from the sun and wind.
Harvest their own water from rain and snow melt.
Contain and treat their own sewage on site.
Produce a significant amount of food.
Are constructed using the byproducts of modern society like cans, bottles and tires.
NOT experimental, but designed by an architect who has spent 20 years proving and refining the technology.

There is a photo gallery of his work here: http://earthship.net/media/image-gallery.html

Then there are also volunteer groups like:

The objective of this first trip to Haiti will be to establish immediate shelter and independent utility systems for twelve people in two weeks. The methods used will be aimed at immediate shelter that can be evolved into permanent shelter as opposed to immediate shelter that is later replaced by permanent shelter. This enables our first efforts to be in the direction of the ultimate goal of permanent sustainable shelter for all Haitians rather than just emergency steps which may provide for an immediate need but that go nowhere in the over all long term scheme of a sustainable future for Haiti.

They've also gone to Indonesia, and Andeman islands to help build, and teach how to build eco-friendly self-sustaining housing literally from the trash strewn over what used to be people's homes.

This is one smart old hippie, who, rather than being badgered by the PTB, should be given a Nobel Prize for his designs, and efforts.

[end rant, but more later]

came back to add a google images search results page. Pics of Earthship (http://images.google.com/images?q=earthships&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=WV-kS4buAoyOtAPHvcWFBA&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CCIQsAQwAw).

20th March 2010, 06:22
Thank you so much...
I have been dreaming of Log Homes with sub-floor heating systems, then I saw Flashdance and wondered about converting a barn or wherehouse... for a long time... and am just at the point to being able to start making real plans to make it happen...

I saw Hobbit's Habbitat in A1 and figured that was the only way I was going to be able to have a house of my own some day (ya know, just grab some land and piece it together myself)... then I found that article and my heart just broke in two at the thought of never being able to do it because of the bankers... 'cause I have zero to negative credit...

this gives me inspiration to keep going... I'll see if it can be done in stages...

20th March 2010, 19:25
hey, I found this too...


22nd March 2010, 02:56
I love the "bug-out bungalows", those are great! Thanks for the link.

Though in a different vein from the bug-out bungalows and the earthships, I thought I'd mention these sacred geometry home plans. They are unique, and really beautiful.