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Rural Studio’s Energy-Efficient Sustainable Home for $20K

March 5, 2015

Rural Studio at Auburn University has been working for more than 20 years on designing and building fully functional homes, donating them to local citizens and all for a total cost of $20,000. This design challenge has been instrumental in not only giving students a wealth of experience in the field, but also giving citizens highly energy efficient livable houses.

We can actually get out of the academic research realm and create a real product that can enable people to better their lives,” Andrew Freear says. “The biggest challenge is, how do you keep the price down? How do you keep a builder—if he knows it’s worth $40,000—from asking $40,000? Especially when we know you can make a decent living charging $20,000 to build one. How do you stop someone from reducing the material quality?

The goal is to use $15,000 for building materials and $5,000 for labor. Although most homes have only one bedroom and measure 600 to 800 square feet, this can be a daunting goal to achieve. Read the full article on Line//Shape//Space and see how Rural Studio is proving that an energy-efficient home can be built for $20k.

Image courtesy of Timothy Hursley