» more from Slideshows

Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle

As the world gets more crowded and landfills fill up more of the land, people are looking for ways to build homes using fewer raw materials and more repurposed old materials. In addition to being an ecologically sound practice, and cheap or even free, it also just looks cool. Using, say, vintage corrugated tin is more original and sturdy than throwing up another cheap particle-board wall that won’t last long enough to be salvaged.

It would do homebuilders well to take a lesson from nature. Like the example of a bird weaving found bits of string or shreds of plastic bags into its nest, the following homes are made using materials that were reclaimed from their previous purposes.

In this collection of homes from across the globe, we have houses made from parts of vehicles that used to drive and fly, homes made with decades-old building supplies and details, and buildings crafted from unexpected everyday objects. This list shows not just freestanding, newly built houses but also an urban apartment.

By Colleen Kane
Posted June 15, 2012