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Fab Tree Hab

We love this idea for a totally green home. Created by three designers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Human Ecology Design program (Mitchell Joachim, Lara Greden and Javier Arbona), the Fab Tree Hab is a home that you grow, quite literally, out of trees. A home that grows, lives and flows around you, adding balance to the environment, rather than taking it away.

Created as a design solution for Habitat for Humanity International, the Fab Tree Hab was inspired by the creation of a crooked cedar and honeysuckle summer home in the middle of a cornfield, by Henry David Thoreau and Amos Bronson Alcott for their friend Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1847. The construction technique is called pleaching – a method of weaving tree branches together to form archways and lattices, used in gardening for many years. The Fab Tree Hab is created using native trees with a protective layer of vines, lined on the inside with a clay and straw composite.

The designers describe water as the pulmonary system of the home. It circulates from a collector on the rooftop, passes through human consumption and then irrigates the garden (creating transpiration, which simultaneously cools the home), or is cleaned by bacteria, fish and plants in a pond.

Obviously, building Fab Tree Habs will require some patience, waiting for nature to take its course – but with some forward planning (which is what we seem to need more of on this planet), in the near future we could all be living in living tree houses.

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