Pass the Olives

Jumbled Opinions on Living, Democracy, and Making Things

3D Printed Houses

3D Printed Houses? I have years of printing experience: etchings, engravings, lithographs, and silk-screen prints. Printing happens on paper. Printing is ink transferred to paper — or fabric, sides of buildings, and other flat usually absorbent surfaces. A few years ago when teenagers began salivating over art classes in a museum that had a 3D printer, I couldn’t visualize it. But they were making toys and doing craft projects. Then […]

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Bumblebee Spaces, Much Too Expensive But…

… Inspired by Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse TV show series that showed Mickey and friends operating in different rooms of the same shape-shifting space. — Business Insider The result is Bumblebee Spaces using the normally unused space in your home: the ceiling. Bumblebee stores your wardrobe and your bed in modular wood boxes that disappear up to the ceiling creating a mosaic of what appear to be wooden tiles. The […]

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Entry Systems for the Common House

What kind of door entry system do we need for the Common House? Door entry systems don’t last forever and the technology will become outdated. You will need entry access control for the common house whether you use it 24/7 or not. One that all generations can use. Urban communities will use it more often than rural communities. Possibly just keys will work fine for you. Most important is having […]

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Biden’s Funds for Affordable Housing

President Biden’s 213 billion plan is one of the most significant investments in affordable housing in the nation’s history. — Nate Berg in Fast Company It was such a surprise to wake up to this today. The shorthand for Biden’s plan in the news has been infrastructure. That usually means roads, pipes, wiring—stuff that connects things or provides utilities. And that means jobs across the country, not just in cities […]

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How to Get Accurate Appraisals

Accurate appraisals are hard to get in green architecture and in cohousing. “How to Get an Accurate Appraisal for Your High-Performance Homes” in Probuilder (31 March 2021) is aimed toward helping appraisers understand the extra value of homes built to high sustainability and energy-efficient standards. Cohousing communities have the same problem with appraisals of sustainability features but also for the common house and other perks. Appraisers will say they can only […]

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Designing Low Cost Housing that Works

Ty Albright, a developer and commercial real estate agent in the Dallas area for many years, has completed the first low-cost house in East Side Bluff, a planned pocket neighborhood of eight houses in Sulphur, Oklahoma. Designing low-cost housing that works is not easy. A tiny square box, inside and out, only works for a one or two-person household in a neighborhood of tiny square boxes. Otherwise, the neighbors make […]

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Container Homes: ContainerWerk

Container homes, along with school bus homes, became fashionable a few decades ago. Dedicated businesses now provide easy access to discarded container cars— you no longer have to scour shipping docks or junked railroad car lots. If you were picturing a rusted railroad car with “chicken” painted on the side, things have changed.  The cost for the shipping container has risen but it is still a reasonable solution to inexpensive […]

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Renting and Owning Both

Renting and owning both bring joys and sorrows. Renting allows flexibility and doesn’t require accumulated wealth. When your life changes, you can move closer to a new job or move to a larger or smaller space when the household size changes. But renting also makes someone else rich and leaves renters with no wealth-building power, for this generation or for the next. Owning discourages flexibility. If your job is suddenly […]

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Best Green Builders of Tiny Houses

The best green builders of Tiny Houses were reviewed by Treehugger in November for 2121 and five listed as the greenest, most, and best builders in specific categories: Greenest Full-Service Option: 84 Tiny Living Most Green Options: Tiny Smart House Best Use of Reusables: Custom Container Living Best Tiny Mobile Homes: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company Best Luxury Options: New Frontier Tiny Homes How they chose: Everyone has a slightly different idea […]

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Tiny House Construction Costs

Tiny House Construction Costs: The Real Numbers Tiny house construction costs are at the heart of the first question asked about a tiny house. Well, maybe the second, the first being how do you live in 400 SF? One of the authorities on designing, building, and living in tiny houses is Ryan Mitchel of the website The Tiny Life lives in 150SF. A few months ago, he published “How much […]

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