Austin + Mergold


  • Square Footage: 1,200
  • Levels: 3
  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Bathrooms: 1 full, 1 half
  • Office: Yes
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House-In-A-Can is now available for viewing and purchase. Become a Hometta member to view the complete builder set for House-in-a-Can. Memberships include five guest accounts for prospective local builder(s) to better discuss the feasibility of your project with you.

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Consider a typical metal grain bin, twenty-seven feet in diameter with roughly five hundred square feet of interior footprint. It represents at least a century (patented around 1900) of amassed knowledge, technology, and raw materials. It is extremely durable, efficient, and inexpensive. The production capacity that is associated with manufacturing, engineering, delivery, and assembly of these structures is truly impressive: within days a new structure, immune not only to weather outside, but also to certain internal stresses, can be erected virtually anywhere. It is extremely durable, efficient, and inexpensive. In a time when housing, both as emergency shelters and permanent construction, at home and abroad, is a pressing issue, a metal grain bin, as an instant, prefabricated housing solution, appears to be an attractive option. In the last hundred years, scores of patents on prefab houses were taken out, and none of them made it into mass production not because they were inferior designs, but precisely because they were lacking the manufacturing base associated with sourcing, fabrication, engineering, and delivery—in short, the infrastructure of a simple grain bin.

We can again be sensitive to what others before us have left behind and make a good use of it, even if this new use was never originally intended. Perhaps this will constitute an esse nce in re-creation of sustainable infrastructure, and we, the people (and architects), can play a central role in it.

Technical Data: 27-foot in diameter American grain dryer - a 1200SF single family starter home. Quickly assembled off-the-shelf galvanized corrugated steel exterior with a 2-bedroom (and a large loft space) house inside. Optional window/door systems, additional porthole windows, balcony, carport, fireplace, roof-mounted solar batteries and additional bin for expansion available. Insulation, extent of enclosure and fenestration customizable for particular climatic conditions of client’s site. Other diameters of grain-driers available as planter beds, ponds and playgrounds.