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Open Source Ecology is Crowdfunding Affordable Eco Friendly Housing

OpenSourceEcologyJun 29, 2016, 2:33:16 PM

Open Source Ecology and Open Building Institute to deliver affordable housing by integrating open source hardware with eco-friendly modular design.

Maysville, MO (USA) — June 29, 2016 — Open Source Ecology (OSE) and Open Building Institute (OBI) launch a joint venture to make affordable, ecological housing accessible to everyone—using a library of engineered modules and a series of rapid-build procedures.

Rapid Builds, Affordable Housing

Beginning in 2016, the joint venture plans to offer aspiring home owners all the designs and tools necessary to build a 700 square foot Expandable Starter Home at 1/10th the cost of an average new home. This incremental home is loaded with ecological features and can be built in 5 days—from raw materials—and then expanded as needed.

The initiative plans to offer a turnkey build service to prospective homeowners in 2017. To do this, the initiative is announcing an immersion training program for builders—to expand OBI build services to other locations. (2 Year Roadmap)

OBI’s rapid build approach is based on OSE’s Extreme Manufacturing workflow, which the organization developed over 12 previous builds (since 2006) at its Missouri headquarters. People without trade skills can participate in the OBI social production build model.


Collaborative Development

  • The OBI toolkit is open source and available free of charge—forever, with no exceptions—and includes a library of modular designs, instructionals, software, and open source machines (for construction and production of building materials). Users can design their own house using open source software, and can also contribute designs to the project through the OBI Design Challenge. (How it Works Infographic)

  • The initiative builds heavily upon the contributions of subject matter experts related to regenerative construction and enterprise development, who are being sought actively for the OBI advisory team based on OBI’s public-interest mission.

  • To fund refinement of the system and development of a wide range of utilities, the venture is launching an OBI Kickstarter campaign today.


The joint project aims to achieve Living Building Challenge certification in 2017, which is the highest standard for eco-construction. The standard OBI house model is off-grid and will have an Aquaponic Greenhouse option, which produces all the fish and vegetables that a family can eat. The 2017 plan includes the build of a 4000 square foot Eco Materials Production Facility—to address the issue that construction is the single most polluting sector—at 39% of all carbon emissions in the US.

Open Source Ecology is developing the Global Village Construction Set (see GVCS TED Talk)—50 industrial machines for building civilization from scratch.  

The Open Building Institute is an open source effort to make ecological housing widely accessible. The project was founded by Catarina Mota (TED Talk) in partnership with Open Source Ecology and is the culmination of several years of experiments building ecological, affordable housing at their farm in Missouri, USA.

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