Last week, the design and architecture blogosphere was abuzz with news (and amazing accompanying images) that James May, a British toy nut and television personality is nearing the completion of a two-story home, complete with a working bathroom, built entirely with LEGO bricks … 3 million LEGO bricks, to be exact.
Totally sensational, no doubt, but May scores a big zero for sustainability considering that the structure is composed of millions of plastic bits. I’m also guessing his LEGO abode isn’t the most well-insulated structure out there either …
Dwell, however, has news that a German company called HIB-System is adopting the LEGO concept of easy-to-assemble snap-together blocks and applying it to energy-efficient, self-build kit homes. I was always a Lincoln Log guy myself but this is pretty neat.
Folks interested in building a HIB-System home can design their own or choose from a variety of existing designs and will be dealing with highly insulating composite wood modules that are made from natural, nontoxic materials like plaster, ground mussel shells, and hemp. The finish used on the exterior of the structure is up to the costumer. HIB-System claims that building with these prefabricated blocks is quick, inexpensive, and “virtually problem-free.”
For an additional charge, self-designed HIB-System homes can even be built to fall under uber-stringent Passive House energy efficiency standards. And HIB-System modules have even made an appearance stateside in the Chain of Eco-Homes Project, a design competition in Greensburg, Kansas, a small town that was leveled by a tornado and has reemerged as a "living laboratory" for green building and eco-tourism.