Architects Suzan Wines and Azin Valy were trying to come up with the ideal building material for refugee housing in Kosovo. It should be recycled, recyclable, affordable, plentiful. They thought about bottles and tires. Then Wines tripped over a shipping pallet on the way home from work one night and something clicked.
Using only shipping pallets, or skids, the I-Beam architects created a tiny, modular home design. They also created “IKEA-style assembly instructions” so anyone- even those without building experience- could build their own home, using only hand tools (hammer, nails, “a crowbar is helpful”). “We’ve also used zip ties to build entire structures,” adds Wines, “which is pretty quick, cheap and easy and doesn’t require any tools”.

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