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Open Source Toolkit – awesome low cost home building eco project deserves our support

opensourcetoolkit

We’ve been following the Open Source Ecology project for a while now – since 2012 actually – as we just love the idea of putting together an open source program for living sustainably. Now the team has gone one further and created a very interesting initiative to make home building fast and affordable by a massive factor.

The Open Source Toolkit has broken new ground (sorry!) with a very clever project to make sustainable construction super cheap and fast. They say they’ve done a dozen or so builds now, which put a small house up in just five (5) days, and for under $25,000 in materials. And they’re offering the plans, training and know-how to anyone who’s interested.

snap1

The secret lies in using ready made modules which bolt together, as well as using local sourced materials such as compressed earth bricks, which you create from local soil. We’re also loving their idea of a small bolt-on greenhouse, which when mature should be able to supply almost all of a family’s needs including eggs, vegetables and fish, through an aquaponics system. See the video below for details.

Of course with this type of initiative you need a couple of important resources. First you need money for land (or access to some land) and of course you need people, but providing you have friends who are willing to roll up their sleeves, this kind of collective project could really make a difference in future housing needs. And hey, open source!

Their Kickstarter project is now fully funded, but every bit helps to let them offer more training courses, and release more module plans onto the website, so we’re thinking it’s a pretty good investment if you’re into that sort of thing. We’ll be watching this with interest over the coming year, because it looks extremely cool indeed!

(PS One of our previous criticisms of the original project was the heavy emphasis on the male of the species as participants, but blow us down if the founder hasn’t gone and married a female of the species and kind of evened up the score. Congrats Marcin). :)

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


  • RCDavis

    Uh, end of paragraph two: ‘know-how’, not ‘no-how’…

    Feel free to delete this message once you see it! :-)

    • Aargh.. I’ll fix. No need to delete, I need the world to learn of my stupidity. :)

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