Friday, July 12

DIY IKEA-Style Recycled Pallet House

Building a Home with Recycled Shipping Pallets

Last week I post an article about re-purposing shipping pallets. I loved that post as did my readers. I thought it was a pretty clever way to build furniture and other what-nots out of objects that would eventually end up in a land fill somewhere. And it's true, it's a smart thing to do - but as I was cruising the web yesterday I came across this video, posted below, and it made my efforts to recycle seem pathetic and minuscule to these two wonderful ladies.
Architects Suzan Wines and Azin Valy were trying to come up with the ideal building material for refugee housing. Yep, that's right, they wanted to build houses using a material that was recycled, recyclable, affordable and plentiful. And quite LITERALLY Suzan tripped over a shipping pallet slotted for the trash. Really? That kind of thing only happens in the movies, but I'm convinced it was DIVINE intervention. 
Using only shipping pallets this dynamic duo designed and created a tiny, modular home. They also created “IKEA-style assembly instructions” so anyone, even those without building experience, could build their own home, using only hand tools (hammer, nails, “a crowbar is helpful”). "We've also used zip ties to build entire structures,” adds Wines, “which is pretty quick, cheap and easy and doesn't require any tools". It took the I-BEAM team less than a week to build this 250 square foot compact home using just 100 shipping pallets.
So here's Wines & Valy's thinking: Since shipping pallets are used for shipping much needed medical equipment, supplies and basic living essentials into devastated areas with refugee sites this overlooked building material would be readily available to those in need. Pallet homes would provide ideal temporary housing for misplaced individuals. These homes can also be upgraded easily with insulation and outer protective covering. Long-term palettes can be covered with stucco, plaster, or roofing tiles. It's a win-win situation.

The architects have decided to release their plans to the general public via their website @I-BEAM Designs. For $75, they offer all the information for building your own pallet home: pdf plans, sections, elevations, photos, diagrams, renderings and a materials/ tools list. 

My hope for you today is that you will stop and think about refugees around the world that have lost everything in unfathomable tragedies. There are an estimated 21 million pallets that find their way into our landfills every YEAR. If I-BEAM uses 100 pallets to build a home, 210,000 homes could easily be built yearly. Think about that! 


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