Pass the Olives

Jumbled Opinions on Living, Democracy, and Making Things

Category: Rehabs and Conversions

Rehabs have become the most likely option for affordable housing in cities, but it is also an option in small towns where buildings sit empty because they are no longer needed for shops or offices. Conversions of buildings and vehicles from their previous use to living quarters are being done by individuals. Is it an option for cohousing? School buses, shipping containers, grain silos, subway and railroad cars, etc. Why not cohousing?

Converting a School Bus: A Home for $9,000

  Since the first version of this post on converting a school bus was written in 2013f, Hank Butitta’s school bus has become a popular culture icon worldwide, a TedX talk, and all the other accoutrement of memes. In architecture school I was tired of drawing buildings that would never exist, for clients that were imaginary, and with details I didn’t fully understand. I prefer to work with my hands, […]

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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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Retrofitting Old Buildings with Prefab Facades

Retrofitting old buildings has become faster and less disruptive with a prefab, modular facade installed on top of an existing facade to instantly help the building save energy. And doing it while the residents continue living in the building. For cohousers rehabbing a building, this makes it possible to do an energy retrofit without delaying move-in or having to move out. The prefab panels that attach to the exterior of […]

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430 SF Apartment in Hong Kong

To create an airy atmosphere, this 430-square-foot apartment was renovated with a palette of natural materials and earthy colors. Some of the most inventively designed small living spaces are in Hong Kong where housing is scarce and not affordable by anyone’s standards. This article and video in TreeHugger features a redesigned apartment for three Family’s Minimalist Micro-Apartment Features Natural Materials, Flexible Layout. In order to maximize the feeling of spaciousness,  the architects […]

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