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by Jessica Kellner
Housing is a fundamental human right. For most of human history, our homes were built by hand from whatever local materials were available. However, since the Industrial Revolution, most housing has become little more than quickly constructed, mass-produced, uniform boxes. At the same time, the invention and standardization of the thirty-year mortgage and our ever-increasing reliance on credit has come to mean that most of us never own our homes outright.
Housing Reclaimed is a call to arms for nonconventional home builders. It examines how technological advances, design evolution, and resourceful, out-of-the-box thinking about materials and efficiency can help us meet the challenge of building affordable, environmentally friendly, beautiful, and unique homes. Focusing on the use of salvaged and reclaimed materials, this inspirational volume is packed with case studies of innovative projects including:
- Phoenix Commotion—working together towards low-income home ownership through sweat equity and 100 percent recycled materials
- HabeRae—revitalizing neighborhoods by creating urban infill using modern technology and sustainable and reclaimed materials
- Builders of Hope—rescuing and rehabilitating whole houses slated for demolition
These projects and others like them demonstrate that building one's own home does not have to be an unattainable dream. This beautifully illustrated guide is a must-read for anyone interested in creating quality zero- or low-debt housing, reducing landfill waste, and creating stronger communities.
Jessica Kellner is the editor of Natural Home and Garden magazine and a passionate advocate of using architectural salvage to create aesthetically beautiful, low-cost housing.