"ai Haifei, a 24-year-old architect in Beijing, China, found an ingenious solution to live rent-free. He built himself a mobile egg-shaped house that is powered by the sun.
The 6-foot-high structure, which is small enough to fit on a sidewalk, is made of bamboo strips, wood chippings, sack bags, and grass seed that’s expected to grow in the spring.
The pod features a solar panel on the roof that powers a lamp in the cozy space. The house cost around $1,000 to build (6427 yen), according to China Daily.
It seems Haifei has taken the trend of living in tiny spaces to a whole new level."
Click link for pictures: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ygreen/20101210/sc_ygreen/beijingarchitectlivesineggshapedhouseonsidewalk
While Googling for more pictures I found a follow up article that he'll have to move his structure off the sidewalk. Can't believe he didn't see that one coming...
"ai Haifei, the man who built an egg-shaped house to live in because he couldn't afford Beijing's high rental prices, is being forced to take it down, the Beijing Times reported Thursday.
After the media highlighted the "egg" house, urban management officers, or chengguan, of Beijing's Haidian district examined the house, saying Dai lacks official approval for living in a public area along the street. "He'd better dismantle the house," one officer said.
Though the adorable "egg" house may win most people's recognition for being green, the concerned residential property manager said when it comes to living in a public area the temporary "egg" house lacks construction approval and dwelling admission.
Managers of Dai's architectural firm said Thursday Dai also got an official notice ordering him to remove the "egg" house.
Dai remained tight-lipped about the saga. "He's under a huge pressure and please give him space", one of Dai's colleagues said."
joan from zone 6 wrote:
being an architect, a "building" an astute homesteader could put together for $75 cost him a thousand
I was thinking about that, too. If you look closely at the pictures he used what looks like high quality wood and many layers of it, not to mention he has a full wood floor in there. He probably has 100-150 sq ft of pond liner or something similar underneath the grass/soil bags, which surely wasn't cheap. And he probably spent at least $100 on the solary panel / lantern set up.
So I'll agree that he wasn't exactly frugal and doesn't appear to have taken advantage of used materials (who knows if used materials are easily accessible in Beijing the way they are in the U.S.), but he definitely built a quality pod.
If it was me, and I was gainfully employed and about to build a living structure that was going to have zero ongoing costs and save me $xxxx/month in rent, I would absolutely build it with the highest quality materials I could, especially with such a small living space. That and I'd need a gym membership to be able to shower each day...
Both of them are better than sleeping in a doorway, but both are on the street in a very public way. While most of the snail is not expensive.... the polly container itself is going to want to be new, I think, as anything I can think it may have been used as in a former life is not something that would make me want to use a used one to live in
On the up side, it is easy to move... though probably not as easy as a shopping cart or (in our area) a bike with a trailer, that most of the homeless use. Those who are "the working homeless", pretty much always have a car or van and the interior volume is as much as either one of these two ideas and less in your face as well.
When I was doing this, I used a 1/2 ton van, I used black garbage bags on the windows so it was not obvious that there was someone sleeping inside. I parked close to the marina where they have a public bathroom open till 10pm and there are showers at work. As it was my daily ride, it was never parked anywhere long enough to bring trouble.... and it was lockable. Cost? Van-$1000, insurance and licensing - $1000/per year and gas varies, but all of these costs were costs I would have had anyway just to get around. Why? it was just before we moved here and my family was living in another city with a mortgage I had to pay while we waited for the house to sell.