Biodegradable Homes


A new age of housing is approaching us in the form of a biodegradable house.   These new houses are designed to be eco-friendly in every aspect and ultimately gives back to the environment.  The house takes what it needs and gives back the same amount.  This new idea is a step in the right direction in order to protect our environment, but what if the person is still living in the house when it starts degrading?  Who would want a house that would just collapse on them after some time living in it?  It seems like it would be a marketing scheme where you buy one house and then you have to buy another and another.  Well that problem was somewhat solved by adding in the idea that the building would collapse after being abandoned for ten years.  This means that the person living there may have to continually replace specific parts of the building over time.  It may not seem very attractive to the modern middle class to live in, but this is just what we need for public housing for refugees or other people who need homes.  New biodegradable cities could spring up to house these people and when they eventually move out or the population goes down, these buildings will take care of themselves by returning the city to a fertile rural area.



  1. Dennis Garvey

    Dennis Garvey w9 comment.
    The author has taken up a very practical topic in the face of increasing demand for alternative options in building materials to leave less of a carbon footprint. Though a few contemporary materials are fully recyclable, most building materials are difficult to recycle back to the same grade as their original application. The movie “Waste=Food” explained that this is the problem with most “green” building projects. They don’t aim high enough; only want to achieve a “clean” recylable product not a 100 percent able to return to the same condition. If Michael Braungaurt and William McDonough, the two people behind Waste=Food, read this article they might be very happy that a push for this type of building is in the works, however, they would want to apply some of their ideas how to establish these buildings realistically. One way I see the two men engaging in these decomposable homes is through the fabrication of the building and its assemblies. If the biodegradable buildings had a short life, then the materials would need to be be extracted from the home and EASILY replaced in order for these buildings to be realistic in the market. This would force the building materials not only to be biodegradable, but modular with engineered connections in which were easy to replace. This would pose a huge challenge for designers and engineers, forcing the two to investigate how solve these problems, allthewhile allowing for design that has aesthetic grace.

  2. kurtismachtemes

    Week 10 Comment 4
    This article makes the claim that a new age is arriving in the form of a biodegradable house. Not to fully disagree with it, but think that the idea of biodegradable structures has existed since early humans started building. Wether our ancestors were intentional about their design process or they just used the materials available around them the majority of early shelters were made from natural resources that were easily recycled into the environment. My burning question for humanity is why are we still applying this primitive idea when technologically we believe we are far beyond our early ancestors. Nowadays humans must start setting higher expectations for ourselves if we wish to maintain our current way of living on Earth. This could possibly mean integrating our advanced technologies in the form of materials with the ancient idea of recycling to allow for up-cycling. These materials could solve the issue of the house degrading too quickly so the inhabitants do not have to worry to much about maintenance while the house would still be able to return to the environment or become something better by being reused in an innovative style. Using this concept in housing alone will not be quite enough to combat humanity’s effect on our environment but if more focus is put on scaling it up then maybe it could have a chance.

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