If, however, money happens to be a primary concern, as well as the fact that you may be lacking in knowledge and experience to do it yourself, there are viable alternatives. And among these are three modern designs that have proven to be among the most cost-effective and simple to build: the Geodesic Dome, the Topsider modular design, and a new modular design recently gaining recognition, known as the Pyramodule™. (Although the dome requires a few hours of classroom instruction, relative to standard building construction, once the concept is understood, it's more expedient and therefore considered easier.)
Now, in the philosophy of architectural design, these are considered archetypal because they're based on universal geometric shapes, which are inherently organic and thus at once aesthetic and structural, as well as adaptable to human needs. In fact, never have the two design axioms of Wright's "form follows function," and Mies' "less is more," been better represented than in these remarkably simple yet innovative designs.
To illustrate what is meant by archetypal: some may argue that the "A"-frame should be considered an archetypal design configuration. Not so. For a structure to be considered thus, it would have to satisfy geometric symmetry from four sides, relating to potential wind forces. In the case of the "A"-frame, it could only be argued that it does so from two sides, and even this isn't really the case.
The Geodesic Dome, in this regard, is the most structural of all, based on the combination of forms of the eggshell and honeycomb. The Pyramodule™ would be next in line. However, the Pyramodule™ has other advantages over the dome, including ease of construction (thus less expensive, scaffolding), much better spatial function, and the highest "material to usability" ratio. And lastly, although the Topsider modular design is the least structural of the three, and marginally below some of the advantages of the Pyramodule™, its more conservative form is the easiest of the three to adapt to aesthetically.
It's interesting to note how all of these so-called 'organic' designs have a space-age quality to them. Actually what occurs in nature, on the primal-archetypal level, winds up representing something futuristic to our anthropomorphically oriented perception when its discovered in its natural state or condition.
At any rate, these three architectural concepts meet or exceed the most important design criteria of any known structures. It's our opinion that these choices are among the wisest of the non-conventional housing designs.
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"For more than 25 years, we've been dedicated to designing
Timberline Geodesic Dome packages that make it easy, practical
and affordable for people to construct their own homes."
Geodesic Domes and Homes
"Since Geodesic Domes are factory manufactured to exacting standards using triangular networks forming hexagons and pentagons, this method provides for a free-span, self-supporting structure requiring no internal supports, such as roof load-bearing partion wall. This allows for maximum flexibility of roof floor design, utilizing or interior space, and future expansion.
"Domes are highly energy efficient in two ways. First, compared to a common rectilinear home of equal floor space, a dome home has approximately 30-50% less roof and wall area exposed to the elements. This reduction in surface area results in a reduction in energy costs for heating and cooling. Second, the spherical shape of the dome facilitates natural air flow yielding more even temperatures, reducing air stratification, minimizing cold spots, and maximizing overall interior comfort."
Quality Prefabricated Homes Shipped Worldwide Since 1968.
"For more than 30 years many individuals have found Topsider Homes perfect for their special building site and lifestyle. Our slogan and the title to our new video is "The Home That Is A Vacation" and it's true!
"Whether you're interested in a small beach house at the coast or a sprawling year-round home, our building system can provide you the perfect leisure living custom floor plan.
"Imagine... vaulted ceilings throughout... beautiful hand sanded, exposed beams resting atop panoramic view floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The inside and the outside change places ... this is Topsider Homes' living.
"But, what really makes Topsider Homes' living so great is Mother Nature. Our homes exploit her beauty without destroying it. Our environmentally friendly homes work with the natural landscape, not against it."
"We offer house plans especially prepared for the do-it-yourself home builder with minimal carpentry experience and little or no experience in reading trade-oriented plans and specifications. More than what is typically sold in the form of technically drafted house plans, ours are geared to the lay person, and also come with a building manual. These together provide a step-by-step, easy to follow procedure for building one's home safely and efficiently.
"The Pyramodule™ is an innovative design conceived by an architect under similar circumstances as Fuller's revelation of the geodesic dome, insofar as its having drawn on quantum theoretical thinking, which conjurs solutions that simultaneously satisfy multiple design criteria to an extent that can only be appreciated if studied.
"In addition to being aesthetic, functional, and structural, it's also cost-efficient to the extent that can save thousands of dollars over conventional methods of house construction."
A-frame House Plans
Provided by Cool Houseplans
2 Story 3061 sf
3 Bedroom 4 Bath
2, 3 or 4 Car Garage
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