I recently read an article about BONE Structure's innovative snap-together building technology (think, steel Lego). A few things caught my attention about Nancy White (The Star)'s article. One, the recycled steel-frame is environmentally friendly. A poster inside a model house said 6,295 plastic bottles were recycled and used in the polyurethane foam sprayed in a 3,000 sq-ft BONE Structure house. And, the company says there's no waste in the building process. Two, it's quick. The structure's pre-cut frame can be assembled in 5 days. Who likes waiting anymore? Three, its flexible design suits our dynamic society.They have a catalogue of plans that can be customized and with no load-bearing interior walls, the layouts can be easily changed. White quoted the company's president in her article, saying “When children leave at 28, you can easily knock down walls. And when they return at 32 you can erect them again.” It used to be the case that families lived in homes for 30 or more years. Nowadays, families are more likely to uproot after much less time to accommodate the changing needs of the evolving family. Although the cost of the steel-frame BONE technology is about 5% more than using wood, it seems like the payoff may be more valuable in the long-term (ecologically, at least). It would reduce the impact on our forests and the ripple effect of all materials that go into renovating (or building) a home. BONE Structures has built 200 houses in Quebec and has 200 more under construction, 49 of them in the GTA (according to the article). Combine the environmental sustainability with the speed and flexibility, it seems quite possible that we may all end up living in a life-size Meccano set.
Photo Credit: Colin McConnell at The Toronto Star
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