Open Source Eco-Building Toolkit to Make Affordable Eco-Housing to the World

Marcin Jakubowski, a Polish-American, with his open source eco-building toolkit is inspiring, informing and connecting people across the built environment with the solutions to build better eco-housing.  

Frustrated with the lack of relevance to pressing world issues in his education, he founded Open Source Ecology in 2003 in order to make closed-loop manufacturing a reality.  

His work has recently been recognized as a 2012 TED Senior Fellow, in Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2012, as a 2013 Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, and a White House Champion of Change in 2013.  

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Images source: Kickstarter  

Open Building Institute has developed the techniques to build a 700 square foot, expandable starter home – loaded with ecological features includes – in 5 days – for $25k in materials.  

They want to make the ‘Open Source Eco-Building Toolkit’ available free to the rest of the world.  


Marcin Jakubowski (founder of Open Source Ecology), Catarina Mota (founder of the Open Building Institute)   It includes modular designs, plans for utilities and appliances, construction machine designs, materials recipes, and training programs – everything you need to design and build a house.  

Image credit: Open Building Institute   

A crowdfunding campaign with a goal of $80,000 is currently live on Kickstarter; to make this toolkit accessible to everyone.  

Open Source Ecology (OSE) has been working on the Global Village Construction Set—a set of 50 industrial machines for building civilization from scratch.  

How does it work?  

A library of modules that can be put together like building blocks allows you to design a house, easily and for free. The modular system combined with a formula for rapid builds makes it possible for a large group of (mostly inexperienced) people to then build this house in as little as 5 days.  

Builds can be executed by a contracted crew, a group of friends and relatives, or using a social production model. In this social production model, builds are structured as educational experiences and take place in the context of training workshops.  

The library also includes designs and instructional for a number of off-grid utilities and appliances—from solar power and water catchment to biogas and hydronic heating. The focus is on regenerative construction, the project also includes a replicable materials production facility—which allows you to produce brick, insulation, lumber, etc. from local raw materials.  

They are also developing a collection of off-grid, sustainable utilities and appliances to satisfy the other needs like power, water, sanitation, etc.  

Library of Building Modules  

There is a library of various walls, windows, doors, roof, utility, and functional modules which can be combined to create a variety of structures like studios, homes, multi-family houses, greenhouses, barns, workshops, schools, offices, and many more.  

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Images source: Kickstarter

Online Access of Library  

The library is made available online in standard CAD formats compatible with open-source software applications such as FreeCADand Blender.   

The library can be directly imported into Sweet Home 3D—an open-source interior design application.   

Once imported into the application, modules can be simply dragged and dropped to create a building design.   

Everyone knows that many people doing small things can help to make big differences. People like Marcin Jakubowski uses unique ideas to make big positive differences in the world.  

With a focus on sustainability, his revolutionary ideas within the framework of ecological development and projects are not only role models, they are visionary. (Source: Kickstarter)


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