Marcin Jakubowski and his lovely wife Katarina are leading the Open Building Institute (OBI) to take open-source to a new level with housing. The organization’s mission is to “make affordable, ecological housing accessible to everyone” and enables aspiring homeowners to build a modular starter home for $25,000.
Marcin and team have continued over the years developing the Global Village Construction set to build civilization from scratch. The new Eco-Building Tookit project takes this idea to put a sustainable spin on the traditional modular home building through a formula developed for rapid builds. Like modular homes, you can build a home using building materials that fit together like puzzle pieces and continue to adding on as-needed. However, these open-source designs come standard with a variety of eco-focused features to support the dream of sustainable living and farming off the grid.
Starter home construction features 3000W Photovoltaics for off-grid solar energy, in-floor hydronic heating, natural rainwater and purification technology, and a score of super low-energy technology solutions. By compiling everything under an open-source building library, you have access to plans for a greenhouse, standalone office/studio, and custom design a unique home. The initiative is part of a larger vision to revolutionize the way we secure housing. They’re attacking the head-on in four ways:
Make it Affordable
One of the visions of OBI is to make housing affordable. According to a recent study, the average American carries a debt $130,992, including mortgage loans. If an average U.S. home costs $360,000, securing a small eco-home for $25,000 saves immense resources, better used elsewhere.
Make it Social
In various trials, OBI discovered a group of 35 people could build the average 700sq-ft. starter home in five to six days. The Institute currently monitors the build, but will soon begin training for people who want to do it themselves, and for entrepreneurial types who want to start rapid-building companies within the framework of the open-source building model. The Institute predicts consumers who do not want to build a home themselves can pay an additional $10k to have one such company do the legwork.
One of the coolest functional benefits of going modular is the ease with which you can add and remove entire sections of a home. Whether you want to add an extra bedroom, porch, or aquaponic greenhouse, the Institute will provide the resources to allow you to expand your dream home over time. A large expansion with the same functionality as the starter home is expected to run $12k for a 225sq-ft. addition. Each additional 225sq-ft. additions are anticipated to cost $5k.
Save your money
Housing is one of the most considerable investments you will make in your lifetime. With Open House Institute, eco-friendly housing is affordable and accessible to a wider range of people, with the library completely accessible to all.
OBI needs your help to finish its library. They’re in the final hours of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Pledges allow you to receive Hardcover OBI Build books, studio model kits, building videos and more. Check that out and hit their homepage to learn more about the project and how to support this initiative.