I almost jumped out of my chair when I read about this ‘affordable housing’ project in Alaska. The estimated $220,000 cost for this home is “less than half of the cost of new homes recently built in the village.” It has 900 sq. ft. conditioned space, 1080 sq. ft. total. (That’s about $204/sq. ft.) I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound very affordable to me. Granted, the conditions are severe and building homes in areas like this is extremely challenging. In many cases everything has to be flown in or at least shipped long distances. But still, it seems possible to build for less than that using earthbags. I predict big advances in cold climate earthbag construction in the coming years.
I don’t have all the answers. I’m posting this project here to try to get people thinking of better solutions. We were talking about perlite houses not too long ago. Would an earth-bermed earthbag perlite house be practical to build in situations like this? It’s interesting to think about and could be very profitable. Whoever figures out simpler, more affordable housing solutions would likely be swamped with work. And in this housing market, that sounds pretty good.