Open-Source Housing Designs

Anyone else interested in sharing Open-Source residential housing designs?

Hi All! I’m an expat forming a small community who is new to the IC space. Like many of us, I already have land. But that’s only one part of the framework when it comes to community building.

For those of us who are planning to design and build our housing and community structures, I’m thinking it would be great to share “open-source” ecologically friendly housing designs and stats with each other. I’ll share my designs once they’re completed as well.

In addition to open-source plans, in my research I came across a number of Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) designs that Counties and Cities have pre-approved for their specific region. Perhaps there may be some ideas and solutions here that might help those of us who are in the design stage get started.

If you have a design, photos, links, cost/sq. ft. breakdowns you’d like to share with others in our IC community who are also building, I’d love to hear from you.

Here are a view ADU designs that might be helpful to start the conversation.
All the best,
-Donnie Austin

Micro 150 A 150 sq.ft. Studio plan from Napa and Sonoma Counties, CA

Cottage A 748 sq. ft. 2 Bed, 1bath

Kestrel Cottage 572 sq. ft. 1 Bed, 1 bath plan approved for the City of Seattle, WA


Ohhhh yes I am very interested in this!! :smiley:

I’m not currently able to do it yet so I’m just buying commercially designed shed kits for now (which are so expensive, esp. when large!), but I planned on designing such things and open-sourcing them as well. I plan on doing that in the not-too-distant future hopefully of a couple of years from now. The hold-up being because I intend to empirically test the strength of various structures to actually be sure my FEM analysis of structures’ integrity is actually accurate! (and to tell which modelling framework is of acceptable accuracy—perhaps even a truss-like mathematical framework would be adequate!)

The ideal would be to create a freely-available software system that allows all kinds of people to design building and furniture structures by assembling base parts (or cuttable part templates) designed in a proper CAD and would predict structural integrity in a specified environmental loading profile (eg, wind speed, temperature, humidity, static roof loading (like solar panels and human roofers), impact impulse from stray objects, and etc. for buildings, or simply static loading and impact impulse for furniture), but that’s very long-term XD

I have basic drafts of ideas for how to make buildings out of currently-available building materials, but in which the buildings are dismantleable without damaging the building materials—like tinker toys!

Another important thing would be a database of information on material interactions, like how diluted can silicone or other things be and still sufficiently waterproof wood?, or how well silicone or other caulk of varying dilutions bond to various materials like wood or cement or plastic or aluminum foil (for example, in order to use caulk diluted in acetone as a glue to bond aluminum foil or other UV-proof or thermally-shielding coating around the silicone waterproofing of OSB or plywood), or how well concrete binds to various materials, or how much concrete experiences dimensional change during curing, and analyses in how accurate predicting the final mechanical properties of earthen-based materials are based on insufficient data about the soil (like just the sand/silt/clay content—I’m sure that’s not enough, but how close to being enough information is it, quantitatively?), or etc.c. :>

I’m sure construction companies and mechanical engineers have access to these things somewhere, but if it’s anything like scientific databases, they probably have to pay like tens of thousands of dollars a year for subscriptions to private “websites” that let them use the data without being able to actually have/download it! (case in point, So we would need to make open-source material databases for accurate structural modelling! :smiley:

(besides, commercial such databases will be focused on the materials their rich corporate clientele are interested in, which probably has limited overlap with the materials our socioeconomically available or environmentally friendly focuses would be interested in!)

Oh and for those with access to CNC routers and more money than I have XD
This exists!!!


And this is not open-source, but it’s similar, and maybe helps give context of what other insulated-block building systems are like:


And I remember the Key Clamp craze where people would make furniture if not buildings out of metal pipes (or tubes usually, to be technical since they aren’t pressure-rated) and these very easy to use connectors called Key Clamps. It’s such a big thing, the Key Clamp manufacturer even sells kits for how to make furniture with their products! XD


And of course there’s geodesic domes and shipping containers and earthships :>

(Sorry I forgot to mention fyi, that this is a slow thing for me, since it’ll be a year before I move on to some land and have any space to do anything at all, and there’s lots of other drains on my time too (like making money for food lol), and also my mental health isn’t great and it’s hard to foot the spoons-bill to build the platforms for collaboration that would, in turn, improve my mental health so I could do even more x"D which is how it’s been for a long time; just slowly making progress)

(But just to be sure, I definitely haven’t forgotten! This is just a long-term thing for me <3 )