Open Source Ecology Offers First Open Source, Alternative Energy, Compressed Earth Brick Micro-House

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Open Source Ecology reduces homeowners construction costs by over 60%, while striving for complete energy independence by year end.

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“We have demonstrated proof of concept for a high performance house built at a fraction of conventional costs. Because housing is the single largest expense in a person’s life, reducing this cost equates to more freedom. ” –Marcin Jakubowski, OSE Founder

Open Source Ecology (OSE) is a 501(c) (3) organization that seeks to empower millions of people around the world by creating all the machinery and systems required to build a society from the ground up, while putting the costs within reach of the average person. The costs of OSE’s machines are designed to be about 20% of similar machinery that is currently available off-shelf.

OSE is collaborating with several alternative energy specialists that have created innovative energy conversion units that provide all the electrical needs to power their micro-homes, which is fueled by inexpensive, locally sourced materials. OSE’s current model uses a hydronic woodstove for the entire homes heating needs with the aforementioned alternative energy sources scheduled to be implemented later this year. When fully integrated, these new energy sources will make the home virtually energy free.

OSE takes a unique approach when building their Micro-Houses because much of the building materials required for the homes are extracted from the property itself, dramatically reducing overall costs. OSE employs their open source CEB (compressed earth brick) press which uses the dirt from the land to make all the bricks needed to construct the home, and with a maximum output of 5000 bricks per day, large scale production can be accommodated with ease. OSE blends cement into the brick mix for stability.

The organization also uses an extremely efficient building technique called “Swarm Building.” Swarm Building is a highly coordinated effort where OSE assigns specific tasks to a large group of people and then breaks into subgroups, allowing all to work in parallel. This method accelerates the process and allows the houses to be completed quickly and efficiently.

Almost 100 people were involved in the building and design of this robust micro-home. OSE documented its progress online and published all of its data in true open source fashion.

OSE has also used digital fabrication to make some of the homes furniture. The chairs have been cut from plywood using a CNC router, and in the future, OSE will build most of its furniture this way. This helps to reduce the costs further.

The OSE Micro-Houses can be designed using the organizations design application which allows prospective homeowners to create customized variations of their new home during the planning process.

The homes costs came in at around $30 per square foot which is less than 1/3rd the cost of conventional building methods. OSE’s mission is to change the current high mortgage paradigm and put home ownership within more of our populations reach. The organization also wants to offer affordable, superior housing solutions to other parts of the world.

“We have demonstrated proof of concept for a high performance house built at a fraction of conventional costs. Because housing is the single largest expense in a person’s life, reducing this cost equates to more freedom. ” –Marcin Jakubowski, OSE Founder

The newly completed prototype is now available for walk-through’s and serves as the company’s model home. All plans for the home, including the machinery used to build it, can be freely downloaded and implemented anywhere in the world. OSE also publishes its data on Outernet, a free alternative to the internet that can reach places in the world that cannot currently access, or afford the internet.

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Dr. Marcin Jakubowski