Design Architecture Modular Refugee Housing Built From Shipping Pallets for $500 - $3000 By Sami Grover Writer The University of Hull University of Copenhagen Sami Grover is a writer and self-described “environmental do-gooder,” now advising community organizations. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Sami Grover Updated October 11, 2018 Kistern Dirksen / FairCompanies.com / YouTube screen capture Share Twitter Pinterest Email Design Tiny Homes Architecture Interior Design Green Design Urban Design Back in 2006, Leonora posted about Pallet-House—an award-winning design for modular, DIY refugee housing. The structure was built from recycled shipping pallets. That design later featured in Lloyd Alter's roundup of shipping pallet architecture. Kistern Dirksen / FairCompanies.com / YouTube screen capture Now, our friends at Fair Companies have created yet another awesome video—interviewing Pallet-House creators Suzan Wines and Azin Valy, and documenting how one of these small family abodes can be constructed in a matter of days using either hand tools or—preferably—a few basic power tools. Kistern Dirksen / FairCompanies.com / YouTube screen capture From the Ikea-style pictorial instructions to the adaptability of the design for either complete, affordable housing, or a more rudimentary transitional housing structure, it's clear this concept has been thought through in great detail. And in case anyone is wondering where folks would find shipping pallets in a disaster zone, the basic premise is that shipments of clothing, food, and other emergency supplies will be arriving on pallets—so this design utilizes the waste from that process and upcycles it into one of the most important human needs of all—shelter. Because the pallets naturally have cavities, they allow for wiring and insulation to be added long after the basic structure was completed, often using vernacular materials such as mud, clay, and stone from the surrounding countryside. Video screen capture. Kistern Dirksen / FairCompanies.com / YouTube screen capture The important question to ask though, suggests Wines and Valy, is why the heck this initiative has not been implemented yet in an actual refugee situation? And while the answer to that question remains a little ambiguous, they do suggest that it has more to do with politics and economics than it does actual feasibility. Given that the makers claim each house can cost between $500 and $3000 depending on materials and labor, you'd hope that's something that we can get around eventually. For more on the project, check out I-Beam Designs, and in the meantime be sure to follow @kirstendirksen and @faircompanies on twitter for more awesome videos on all things tiny and clever in architecture and green building.