Recyclables and agricultural methods used to create eco-house design
The Homestead House is a conceptual design for alternative housing that explores the potential use of a commercially available
steel, prefabricated, modular, high strength, low cost, arch building system normally used for agricultural
purposes. Its architect, Michael Jantzen was inspired by his experimental design work in the late 1960s as an undergraduate at Southern Illinois
University and decided to re-examine this work.
The steel arches and straight panels used in the building system are formed from thin recyclable steel
sheets, which can easily be bolted together with simple tools, and with unskilled labour. Once the arches
are bolted together, they normally do not require an additional secondary support structure. As a result,
very little material is required to form an extremely strong envelope that can be taken apart in the same
manner in which it is assembled. In this way, the entire structure can be recycled by erecting it again
in a different location for a different function.
The extreme modularity of the Homestead House design
allows for a great degree of flexibility in the way in which the modules can be clustered together to
accommodate different needs. The size and shape of the entire structure can easily be altered over time
by adding or subtracting complete modules, and or by adding or subtracting one arch at a time.
There are various ways to insulate the Homestead House. In the present design, an entire second structure
(made of much lighter gauge material) is erected inside of the outer shell and cellulose insulation
(ground up newspaper) is blown in-between the two structures in any thickness needed.
This Homestead House is designed to function off of the standard utility grid but it would be able to
generate its own electricity with photovoltaic cells and with a small vertical axis wind turbine.
structure would be passively solar heated and cooled and the domestic water would also be heated
by the sun. Rainwater would be collected off of some of the roof arches and directed to above or
below ground storage containers. Many other alternative energy gathering and storage systems can
be employed, including the possible use of solar and wind powered hydrogen manufacturing, for use
throughout the house.