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DIY - Constructing your own house... SUSTAINABLY

'Do-It-Yourself' arrives to the construction of houses.

A self-construction sustainable project



Design and build a house quickly, cheaply and for all audiences. Although the 'do it yourself' has become fashionable in the 21st century, the German architect Walter Segal demonstrated decades ago not only that it was a viable alternative, but that it went well beyond the field of decoration.


In the late 1970s, the London borough of Lewisham decided to undertake a self-construction project with the Segal method, based on a simple principle: it is not necessary neither too much money nor too much experience to build a home. "All you need to do is cut a straight line and drill a straight hole," said the architect.


Young and old people dedicated themselves to building their own wooden houses under their supervision where they were called Walter Way and Segal Close streets. Throughout the United Kingdom, 200 homes designed with their method are still preserved today.


The prestigious Architectural Association, the oldest independent architecture school in the United Kingdom, is recalling the importance of this anarchist defending sustainability in construction with an exhibition in London.


Now, many others pay tribute indirectly to the visionary of self-construction with their projects to build ‘DIY’ homes. Also British Alastair Parvin recovered Segal's ideas in 2013 with WikiHouse.


This designer wondered why citizens could not build their own sustainable homes and created this non-profit platform. On the web you can download free plans to build a small customizable modular house with plaster or plywood walls. Whoever wants can purchase the materials for £ 14,500 (18,000 euros) and set up their own WikiHouse in just one or two days.



Logically, those who wish to carry out the entire process of building the house on their own will need a little more time. According to this platform, it will take 3 or 4 weeks to prepare and cut the materials and a couple of weeks to assemble the Lego pieces.


In addition, although with these free plans you no longer need an architect to do the design of the house, in Spain you will need one as a designer and construction manager, as established in the Building Planning Law, as explained by the College Madrid Architects Officer to idealist / news


Pop-House, a house with low energy consumption


Building a passive house to achieve low energy consumption is one of the objectives of the French architectural studio MultiPod Studio with its Pop-Up House. The other is that whoever wants to do so, can build one of these homes in just four days.


The studio can customize the Pop-Up House for each client, although the prototype is a structure of 150 square meters with a kitchen, a living room, two bathrooms, a double bed and two smaller ones, a terrace and an office that It costs about 30,000 euros. Wood sheets and an expanded polystyrene insulation make up this home that we can have finished in a seen and unseen.



Although the project seemed designed so that its residents could boast of having built their own home entirely, in reality MultiPod Studio allows the owner to customize the design of their home, but it will be an architect who coordinates the installation at all times. Afterwards, the owners themselves can carry out the work of electricity, plumbing and installation of the air conditioning system, in addition to participating in the final finishes.


Build your own portable home


Across the pond, the American designer Alek Lisefski came up with the idea that "less house, more life" could be a good motto for his architectural and existential project. Your Tiny Project is a small wooden construction that lets sunlight filter through its windows. The most peculiar thing is that the structure goes on wheels, thus becoming a flirtatious portable home in which even solar panels can be installed.


Lisefski wants to encourage everyone who cannot pay the rent or the purchase of a home to build their own house. It sells for 250 dollars on its website (227 euros) a complete guide that includes plans, in addition to electrical and plumbing schemes, so that whoever wants to build a home like yours can easily do it.


Although we save the cost of land living in a portable house, it is necessary to buy a trailer capable of moving this house 4 meters long and 2.5 meters wide. Therefore, the construction cost Lisefski a total of $ 30,000 (27,000 euros). Of course, nothing guarantees us that our home will be as good as him.