The Wall AG recently unveiled a remarkable prefabricated house that is made from recycled paper and can be built for less than $5000. Constructed from an innovative cellulose-based material, the Universal World House is light, cheap, well-insulated, and remarkably strong, making it an incredible asset to developing countries, the homeless, and those displaced by disasters.
Invented by Gerd Niemöller, the Universal World House measures 390 square feet, weighs about 1,763 pounds, and is built to last for generations. It comes complete with plumbing, eight built-in single and double beds, and basic facilities. Its versatile structure allows its walls to open up to take advantage of daylight and natural ventilation.
The modular prefab is constructed from Swisscell, a material made from cellulose extracted from recycled newspaper and cardboard. The material is impregnated with resin and formed into honeycomb walls that provide excellent insulation and offer a a great strength-to-weight ratio.
The process is extremely cheap, and machinery can be easily mobilized to other countries, cutting down on the impact of shipping the homes and providing local manufacturing jobs. Niemöller has stated: “From the very beginning, our goal was to create practical, environmentally sustainable, and, most importantly, cheap living quarters for the slums of the Earth.”