Extreme Green Building: In Search Of The 100-Mile House

Is it possible to put your house on the 100-Mile diet? A global competition for architects and designers hopes to find out.

Locally Sourced House

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a surge of people striving to live the “locavore,” lifestyle. Rather than focus on organic or vegetarian diets, locavores instead focus on geographical proximity, many pledging to only eat foods that have been grown or produced withing 100 miles of their front door.

Now, as GOOD’s Mark Boyer pointed out in a recent article, some locavores are expanding this philosophy to homes as well as food. Of course, growing your own is the easiest way to achieve this goal in regard to food, so it only makes sense that building-your-own would accomplish it in the area of architecture.

Last week, the Architecture Foundation of British Columbia launchedΒ an international competitionΒ to design a 1,200-square-foot, four-person home that exclusively uses materials made or recycled within 100 miles of Vancouver (also the birthplace of the 100-Mile Diet).

“Historically, most houses were constructed as ’100 mile’ houses from caves, sod houses, log cabins and stone houses to the First Nations’ indigenous cedar houses, tepees and igloos,” reads the competition website. “People worldwide used whatever available materials were at hand to build shelters for themselves and their families. But is this possible in a modern 21st Century city like Vancouver? This competition will challenge all participants to rethink the way we live and select materials, systems and technology that reflect this reality in the world of computers, the internet, Facebook, etc…  Participants are encouraged to challenge the logic of the present, formulate new questions, and explore variations that will allow new potentials for living.”

This is a global competition. Architects, designers, artists, students and other environmentally conscious creators from around the world are encouraged to submit their ideas. If you’ve got big ideas about how to live efficiently off of the materials available in your own region, think about registering!

Image Credit: Flickr/locosteve

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