Sustainable Home Designs: Corrugated Houses

Steve Elias provides new sustainable home ideas with his design of corrugated domes.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
January/February 1977

Steve Elias stands by his cardboard dome house in San Rafael, California.
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF


Content Tools

Related Content

Classy Trash: Building with Non-Recyclable Cardboard Bales

Auburn University students build a home using bales of non-recyclable corrugated cardboard.

Steve Maxwell’s Top 5 Make-Do Tool Tips

Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, share his make do tool tips with fellow DIY homeowners.

My Woody Allen Moment

So, I just read an article in the Washington Post that said the Internet is now home to some 15 mill...

Have It Your Way

Be aware: Living sustainably can be hindered by homeowner association rules.

There are domes, and there are domes ... and then there are the bolt-together cardboard domes sold by Steve Elias of San Rafael, California.

Steve's line of compact (14 feet across), lightweight (300 pounds) geodesic modules — which have recently undergone A.I.D. (Agency for International Development) field tests in Guatemala — combine an impressive array of virtues:

  • Low cost. (Steve sells kits for $400 each ... little more than you'd pay for a comparably sized tent.)
  • Ease of construction. According to the kit's designer, three unskilled people can build a dome like the one shown here in three hours (and seal it with caulking compound in another hour) using nothing but a screwdriver, tile knife, wrench, caulking gun, and clamps.
  • Durability. Says Steve: "What I'm using is NOT ordinary cardboard. It's a double-layer, corrugated fiberboard bonded together with waterproof resin and impregnated — not coated — with polywax. Believe me, it's tough!"
  • Livability. "I've been living very comfortably in one of these 160-square-foot units in my backyard for nearly a year," claims Steve. "I've got lights, an Aladdin heater, a telephone, and all the furnishings — bed, desk, bookcase, wall hangings, etc. — of a regular bedroom."
  • Versatility. Two or more modules can easily be linked together to create a "dome-house" with separate toilet, sleeping, and kitchen facilities. (Steve has even stacked domes!) Conceivably, a dozen or more units could be joined to form semi-permanent quarters for intentional communities, day schools, and so on.
 







Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.