Palette Housing

Through the course of time, the Earth has seen a multitude of natural disasters. The displacement of people due to these occurrences is one of most important issues to focus on when thinking about disaster recovery. There have been numerous attempts at designing housing for these families, however, one design in particular stood out to me. IBeam Architecture and Design developed what is called Pallet Housing; named so because of the fact that it is constructed out of wooden shipping pallets. This design originally stood out because it is a wood based structure. This material has been an interest of mine for the past couple of weeks due to the fact that I am discovering about ways in which it is becoming a more and more popular building material.

The Palette House is designed to be inexpensive, efficient, and easily realizable. Its purpose is to provide emergency shelter for displaced victims of natural disasters, plagues, famine, political and economical strife, or war. It was a project that won Honorable Mention among hundreds of entries submitted from around the world. It bridges the gap between “temporary tent shelter and permanent house structure”, and is expected to last for about five years.

As stated earlier, the structures are made of wooden shipping palettes, which are recyclable, sustainable, versatile, easily assembled, and aesthetically pleasing. One of the aspects that interested me about these houses is the fact that they can easily be transformed from temporary housing to permanent structure by adding more stable material such as stone, earth, mud, plaster, or concrete. It is also easily adaptable to almost every climate on Earth. The material cost for each structure is only about 500 dollars including hardware, making it a very affordable solution for displaced citizens. The most important aspect of these structures is the fact that families can build them according to their needs. The structures give them the flexibility to add their own elements into the design. The size and layout can also evolve over time. With that being said; I believe palette housing should be one of the go-to designs for the housing of displaced people.


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