I asked for reader’s input in my previous blog post about the Shelters for All affordable housing contest. They’re seeking 700-1,100 sq. ft. one story house designs for the poorest in urban areas.
Unless I get another flash of inspiration, I’ve settled on the Craftsman house plan. I’ve made dozens of changes to suit the requirements of this contest. The main thing you’ll notice is the walls are not earthbag. I’ve decided on plastic bottle walls for this particular project. Earthbag is still a top choice in most cases, but I’m sure the contest jurors want thin walls that take up less space. The plastic bottle walls use bamboo, wood poles or concrete posts to create a post and beam structure that can withstand earthquakes. Bamboo is my first choice due to its sustainability. Bamboo is renewable, fast growing, produces oxygen and habitat, and only requires minimal processing. It’s not always available, of course, so I’m open to using wood poles or concrete posts as necessary.
Other changes to the design include outdoor laundry, lofts above the kid’s bedrooms for extra sleeping space for extended family, front porch with benches, garden, rain barrels, solar hot water, small solar panel, shower instead of bathtub and many other small details. I look forward to hearing your feedback. Please post your comments below.