OSE Microhouse Prototype Build

From Open Source Ecology
(Redirected from Microhouse)
Jump to: navigation, search

MicroHouse Genealogy

General Concept

Linked from OSE Microhouse Microhouse04.jpg. Page edited by Marcinted.jpg, initial design by Cohabitatlogo.jpg Cohabitat Group and final design by Chris Reinhart with adherence to Oshwalogo.png and Logobw-vector.svg. To be built with CEB Press.png CEB Press IV supported by Tractor.png Prototype IV, Sawmill.png Prototype I, Rototiller.png Prototype III, Power Cube.png Prototype V and VI, Backhoe.png Prototype I, Trencher.png Prototype I, industry standard Baler.png and industry standard Chipper Hammermill.png.

Results from 2013

Ergonomics Concept

We want to press bricks realtime and lay directly into walls. Our goal is to demonstrate that we can produce and lay 5000 bricks into a 400 sf structure in one day with 12 people laying bricks in 4 teams of 2 and another 4 people sliding the blocks on the rollers. Another carpentry crew of 8 breaks into 4 teams that make windows, doors, and roof sections. Another team of 4 inserts the mechanical unit, and the final team of 4 mixes and sprays stucco with a slurry sprayer. So a team of 2 dozen is needed for one day. Foundation is prepared beforehand. Start at 8 AM and press until 5 PM with 1 hour break. Begin roofing at 7 PM and finish at 9 PM including stucco.


Factor e Farm is building a prototype Microhouse to demonstrate and document the efficiency of building Compressed Earth Block structures - in order to demonstrate the robustness and efficiency of the CEB construction method. We are considering CEBs as a scalable, high-performance method for building OSE infrastructure - consistent with our Strategic Plan.

We will make a comparison to stick-built methods. We are documenting the time of construction. Compared to stick-frame construction - we are designing for:

  1. improved thermal performance (both heating and cooling)
  2. comparable cost
  3. use of local material sourcing (block + insulation)
  4. longer lifetime

We will be building a minimalist 12'x12' structure to demonstrate the building techniques - while documenting the process in full technical detail:

  1. Step by step procedure with diagrams prior to build
  2. Time required for each step of the build
  3. Comprehensive cost including materials, labor, and others
  4. Bill of materials with links to sourcing
  5. Step-by-step video instructional with technical script

Design Discussion

Discussion between Floyd Hagerman, professional CEB builder, and Marcin Jakubowski.


Design Rationale

  • Breakthrough cost to performance ratio by DIT Collaborative Production. Goal: $4/sf.
  • Breakthrough construction time: 2 days with 5 people for every 300 square feet of house space for modular structure
    • Preframed door, window, roof. mechanical/kitchen units.
  • Modular structure, additions can be made on-demand
    • Modular window and door units
    • Modular roof structure - long, interconnectable panels with possible skylight.
  • Wall-integrated Stove
  • CEB Floors
  • Double CEB Walls insulated with hammer-milled straw
  • Built-in winter-round greenhouse
  • Locally milled lumber - after Phase 1


Specifications and Build Plan

  • Phase 1: Build foundation for a single free-standing unit of 12'x12' size. Structure has electricity and a provision to connect a water line in the future (water line stubbed out under house skirt insulation. At this phase, no provision for interconnecting further additions to this structure need to be made.
  • Build 12'x12' living structure - CEB floor, built-in wood stove, electrical connection
  • Siting is north of HabLab
  • We are intending to use the tractor, brick press, and industry standard hammer mill (needs to have hydraulic motor and base stand mounted still) for chopping hay insulation
  • Phase 2: Building an independent next module - a greehouse module - separated by 8 feet with covered walkway. Allow for water and electrical connection.


See also Shallow Insulated Footer


  • Shallow insulated footer technique. Works for heated structures to prevent frost heave.
  • Inside - poly goes under footer
  • Outside - poly goes up footer and under insulation




Door and Window Detail

edit or comment


Mechanical Unit

Cost Structure

  • Cement footer: $100/cu yd
  • Insulation: $35/sheet of 2" pink board for skirt - 6 sheets per unit - $200

edit or comment

Design Proposals

sketchup - brick theory

sketchup - gable roof


  • Footer: 18" wide, 1 cubic foot of concrete per foot of double wall foundation


First, go to School.jpg on the above.