The $300 House design competition has about 300 affordable housing projects to study and learn from. I found Kevin Songer’s Integrated Shelter project, and even though it’s borderline genius, it’s way down the list. He entered the contest shortly before the deadline and so most people haven’t seen it. Quick summary and then I’ll let Kevin explain: 800 sq. ft. hoop house for $300. Folks, this thing costs 37 cents/sq. ft. How’s that grab ya? There are lots of clever details that can only be discovered by reading through his whole presentation. It’s one of the few designs in the contest I’d actually consider building. I absolutely love this design and hope to incorporate small versions with my designs.
**Be sure to watch his video. I couldn’t figure out how to upload it here.**
“Critically important to the Urban Core population, food is becoming more and more expensive. Producing maximum quality food in quantities capable of providing for a family can be successfully achieved when permaculture design principles are integrated in.
My final design for the $300 home is based on years of work in developing a low cost, lightweight and affordable living roof and wall system to feed the Urban Core, clean stormwater and restore biodiversity to the cities.
The end result is a place one can be proud of, 75 square meters overall in total, about 800 SF. The front living area is approximately 500 sf, the greenhouse/
shower area is 200 sf and the poultry house is 100sf.
The frame contains 4’ sections of 2” fencing pipe placed 12” in the ground with a small amount of concrete. 1” electrical conduit is placed in the top open end of the pipe and bent in an arch until the opposite end slides into the opposing anchor pipe. Once the arches are up, galvanized fencing is attached to the frame creating a skin covering.
The roof is covered with a heavy duty tarp that can be rolled up for ventilation. The living area, greenhouse and poultry house are separated by walls with a fencing skin also.
Rainwater is collected in a gutter that runs along a knee-wall and stored in an underground cistern. Water is pumped via hand pump to a solar shower bag that feeds the sink also. Drain water flows to irrigate the plants in the greenhouse and then water the poultry.
Living roofs and living permaculture walls line both sides of the home, creating privacy and delivering much needed food. The green roofs are soilless and based on an extreme lightweight design (see photos).”