Architects Suzan Wines and Azin Valy were tasked with trying to figure out a way to recycle waste to build homes for refugees in Kosovo. They couldn’t figure out which material to use, until one day, Wines tripped over a wooden pallet and came up with a genius idea – a pallet home.
Around 21-million pallets are dumped into landfills each year. With those, the architects say they could house around 210,000 refugees using their pallet home model. The most important thing about this design, is that it can be constructed in a matter of a few days and only requires a few basic power tools.
Where would these refugees get the shipping pallets? The idea is that when aid supplies, like clothing and water are sent to those areas, they would recycle the pallets that they came on.
They tiny pallet homes are anywhere from 100 to 300 square-feet. They have a sleeping loft, a table also made from pallets and little decks for sitting outside. A 250 square-foot home requires 100 pallets to build it.
Since the pallets offer slats and cavities because of their design, it’s easy to use local resources to add insulation post-building. Adding this insulation (which could be made from clay or stone) and a metal roof can turn these homes into longer term housing options.
With an average building cost of $500 to $3,000, Wines and Valy are hoping that their pallet home models can be used more widespread in areas where there’s a high concentration of refugees or people in need of immediate housing.