Building a Home in Costa Rica

$60/sq ft is for the Taj Mahal, $30-35 can be expected




Tentsile tree tents: floating treehouses mimic spider webs – videos – *faircompanies

Treehouse architect Alex Shirley-Smith wanted to create a portable treehouse, a kind of ready-made, floating shelter that could be assembled in any backyard, wood or even city streets.

In 2010 Shirley-Smith released several tree tent prototypes inspired by spiders’ webs. “A spider always uses three anchoring points and the web finds its own position in space that’s a circle in between any of those 3 points. So as long as you’ve got 3 anchoring points this tent will find its own central position to create its own shape inside that triangle. The whole thing is sort of taken from spider’s web technology or you know, what exists in nature. Biomicmicry.”

After refining 11 prototypes, Shirley-Smith and partner Kirk Kirchev finally released a production model tree tent- the Tentsile Stingray. Using just 3 tree straps, 2 poles and one fly sheet, the Stingray will shelter up to 4 people in mid-air. It takes about 10 minutes to set-up and a few minutes to take down. And best of all, it is one size fits all.

“It’s not bespoke, so it’s a treehouse solution that avoids all of the pitfalls of treehouse architecture. Because a treehouse has to be bespoke to be made to the host tree and this is a treehouse that one shape fits all. It doesn’t have to be custom made: any three trees, any three points, I mean we’ve put it up in London on lampposts and bollards and stuff.”

The tent can be used as a camping alternative- to keep you comfortably suspended above any animals, bugs or uncomfortable rocks-, but the design could also prove the basis for a new type of eco-village. Kirchev dreams of one day creating a community of (much larger) tensile structures where portable villages could be mounted and disassembled in a day, leaving little impact on the forest floor.

“It will also be quite spectacular to be able to be up above in the canopy where the birds are singing and there’s leaves and it’s just a great environment, which it has been unexplored until now. Go back to the trees… we’ve never had people up the trees until we came down from the trees I suppose.”

– tags: small spaces tiny homes treehouse biomimicry small homes tiny shelter london small shelter tentsile ecovillage floating tent hammock tent portable treehouse queen’s wood tentsile stingray

via Tentsile tree tents: floating treehouses mimic spider webs – videos – *faircompanies.

Shipping Container Homes

some good examples of designs at this link, eg.

2x 40ft Shipping Container Home, – Sarah House Project, – Glendale, Salt Lake City, Utah

The Sarah House Project is a mostly one-man effort to build a small home out of two 8 by 40-foot shipping containers.

Jeffrey White is adding something new to the mix. Something unexpectedly stylish. Shipping containers.

White’s house is 672 square feet.

White estimates the cost of the project, including the land, at $108,000 – $115,000. This, he says, is close to the cost of a conventional home and is higher than he expected, but White hopes he’ll be able to bring those numbers down in future.

“I would love this house to come somewhere in the $60,000 – $75,000 range,” White said.

The Crossroads Urban Center will eventually sell the home to a low-income single or couple

via Shipping Container Homes.

FLW container house | Zigloo


An adapted Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) Container House design concept creates a unique house sized perfectly to most standard size lots. This design is constructed of two 40′ and six 20′ shipping containers. The main floor consists of an open living, dining and kitchen area, along with 2 bedrooms, the main bathroom and laundry room. Circular windows in the living area provide interest on the front wall, while the kitchen window provides an elegant visual backdrop. The bathroom is tucked away behind the kitchen and the foyer leads to the bedroom hall. The bedrooms have sliding glass windows overlooking the front yard and the container doors can be locked shut to increase security or opened to allow natural light. The central staircase is a sculptural element to access the upper floor. The upper floor contains the master bedroom suite and an open office/den space. The studio and mechanical rooms are contained in a separate 20′ container joined to the principal building by a patio and water feature.

#8 Shipping Cabin

The Shipping Cabin design is a luxury, low cost construction conceptualized for a controlled manufacturing environment. These luxury low cost residences could be built on Canada’s West Coast and economically shipped to places like Spain, Bolivia or Iceland. The use of shipping containers serves as the fundamental building blocks of a cabin structure which can be easily adapted to any location and environment. This concept uses a single 40′x8′ shipping container as an upper floor and a simple glass and aluminum frame with a ground level enclosure. The cabin is raised 9′ above the ground and supported on four wooden columns. The roof consists of arched trusses and corrugated 12′ steel culverts. The ground level floor is an open and flexible space for accommodating various living arrangements. The shipping container makes up the structure of the upper floor which includes the bedroom, storage unit and bathroom.

via FLW container house | Zigloo.