It's really early to be looking at the entries for the Shed of the Year competition, the entry deadline isn't until May. However Uncle Wilco tweeted this early entry that is going to be really tough to beat in the eco-shed category. Kim wrote about it in 2012, but it is definitely worth another look in the run-up to the competition.
It's a tiny geodesic dome built for a grand total of two hundred bucks by Jeffery the builder at Aprovecho, " a regional resource for researching, demonstrating, and educating the techniques and strategies of sustainable living" that will be a story on its own.
Jeffery writes on his site:
The project began with an idea: by reducing the size of a house, we actually increase the space we live in. Having a smaller home forces us outside and into nature. My aim was to make a well built cabin cheaply; using material destined for the landfill as much as possible. I feel that much of the western world has become a ‘throw-away’ society. No longer do we repair our belongings when they wear out or break, but instead we thrown them away and buy new ones. I think knowledge of the value of materials is being lost. Building in this way also forces me to use techniques and materials I am not familiar with, so increases my ability and knowledge.
To begin the project I constructed a nine-foot, ten sided deck using wood salvaged from a torn down shed and concrete pier blocks that were found on site. I built small walls, known as ‘pony walls’ to raise the dome so the occupant could stand in the middle. I then built the dome structure from pallet wood fastened together using plumbing wire around hubs made from PVC pipe.
In the conclusion on his site, Jeffery looks at the larger question of community vs tiny house alone in the wilderness.
While working on the dome I began to think about “pod living”. Sleeping in a “pod” bedroom like my dome and having central cooking, bathroom and social areas. Possibly having many pods in a co-housing style housing arrangement... I also see pod living as a possible solution to my generation’s dilemma of homeownership. How do we live in our own homes without building up crushing debt and being stuck in jobs we hate for most of our lives. What if you could build a small affordable pod and join a like-minded community?