Seed Eco-Home Designer 2021

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  • Build upon the Part Library Tutorial for Sweet Home 3D:

  • Import all technical modules, and assemble them into any configuration.
  • The key is understanding the modules and their applications:
    • For example, it is clear that exterior walls arranged in the required pattern will provide you with the desired shape.
    • Or, entire subsets of modules - the kitchen-bathroom part of the house - may be used as a whole, as it constitutes an efficiently designed entity to the point that it worthwhile to not reinvent the wheel and just use that as a whole.
  • Thus, the concept is - with ability of the key modules, any configuration of the Seed Eco-Home may be designed, for any of the shapes:


And that is just the standard 256 sf module-based shapes, not to mention possibilities for microhouses, microhouses on a trailer, or larger structures such as a workshop.

Thus, the design process in SweetHome3D could simply consist of dragging and dropping wall modules, larger modules, landscaping libraries, and other assets into a design. Because the modules are engineered already, one is assured that technical correctness and buildability are built in. Power users can create entire new modules, and documenters can produce design guides that specify exhaustive design rules for how modules fit together.

There are different realms of design that one can engage in:

  1. Creating new modules: this requires some level of architecture skill to determine the critical design components of a given module or system. Some of these, for examply, how to design a wall, bathroom, kitchen module, are captured in the House Design Guide.
  2. Creating different house configurations - a novice who learns the basics of Sweet Home 3D can do this using existing drag-and-drop modules for any shape of house, including landscaping. This is the easiest for one story homes.
  3. Site-specific design - if one can access digital elevation models and site surveys, one can add realistic landscape for a specific site. This requires more skill.
  4. Expanded Homes - Versions of one floor height are easy, ones with 2 stories require some attention to details of plumbing/electrical, and versions such as 3 stories require additional modulesu. However, once the work of modularizing additional building patterns is done - then any novice can design with these and get a technically correct design.

Engaging in Global Design to Solve Housing

So how do we involve the whole world? By digitizing more modules. Here the options are infinite. The key is to consider how they fit into the existing system - to optimize buildability, cost, and performance, and to smash the Iron Triangle at the same time with open source and swarming innovation, while using local and recycled materials.

  1. Adding More Modules - from PV, wind, and sophisticated landscape elements. Adding optimized furniture. Adding different build methods, such as CEB, steel, straw bale, or many others - so that a complete, unified building system is created. That takes global collaboration. Next step priorities include CEB-based wall modules, which allow the use of a low embodied energy, high performance building material: earth. To get involved, join the OSE Forum on the Seed Eco-Home Designer. Other likely development areas are microhouses and microhouses on trailers - which can be highly useful for many people.
  2. Regular Incentive Challenges - we are starting a $10k prize incentive challenge for the next house model. Join the forum, vote on the next most favorite design - and participate in the incentive challenge. The requirements are learning SweetHome3D for design synthesis, and FreeCAD for generating modules, and some addons + Blender for various export and batch processing tasks for graphics assets. The basic functionality in these 3 tools can be learned readily in about 4 hours, and the whole process can be quite seamless when using OSE Linux.
  3. The Seed Eco-Home Extreme Enterprise Book - this is our bible for learning design and training people for entrepreneurship for solving housing. This is the topic of the next Extreme Enterprise Hackathon.

The Good News

This process leverages 3 existing, powerful, open source software communities- SweetHome3D, FreeCAD, and Blender - who are all our friends. The capacity of this software is growing rapidly, and the software itself is immortal.

Getting to Design Skills

  • Here are basics of what a house is made of, and basics of light frame constuction that we abide by while converting standard light frame construction into module-based design:

  • If you want to learn to design other subsystems beyond framing and structure, such as plumbing, electical, PV, landscaping, and more, see the House Design Guide.
  • If you are a designer, join the Solving Housing Forum section at the OSE forum, start a Work Log, and help us create more design guides. Such as all the technical design guides for everything involved in housing - such as Open Source Inverter Design Guide, Nickel Iron Battery Design Guide, Rebar Truss Design Guide, Wooden Truss Design Guide, Tractor Design Guide, and more - as we open up design knowhow to the public.