Automakers are be quick to tell us that their new vehicles are upwards of 90 percent recyclable, but they don't mean it like this. What we have here is a house that was crafted using parts scrounged from local junk yards, turning what used to be a pile of trash into a beautiful, high-end, eco-conscious home.

Designed by architect Karl Wanaselja and his partner Cate Leger, this house in Berkeley, CA embodies the idea that "reusing trumps recycling." Most of the car parts were salvaged from old Dodge Caravans, including the car panels used for siding. Since the panels offer up different shades of gray, which Wanaselja compares to fish scales, the lighter ones went on the north side of the house to give the neighbors a bit more reflected light. Caravan side windows were used for awnings, too, and Wanaselja found the non-tinted ones better looking even if they were harder to find. All told, he says, there are parts from "thousands and thousands" of cars in this house, as well as waste poplar bark and reused fence materials.

You can learn more about how America's best-selling minivan became a house in the video after the jump.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Dave
      • 17 Hours Ago
      I want a styrofoam dome. Considering the weight, shipping ought to be cheap. And its hard to beat the R-value of the walls. ;) http://pinktentacle.com/2008/08/styrofoam-dome-homes/#comment-2780605
        Letstakeawalk
        • 17 Hours Ago
        @Dave
        The cool kids are using autoclaved aerated concrete nowadays... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoclaved_aerated_concrete
        ufgrat
        • 17 Hours Ago
        @Dave
        Have they dealt with the problem of styrofoam historically being very flammable, and producing gasses that will seriously kill you?
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 17 Hours Ago
      These guys had way too much time on their hands....gotta hand it to them for dedication though...
      karlInSanDiego
      • 17 Hours Ago
      FIrst, I really like the design and the appearance, today. But, you'd think, after spending a few afternoons in the junkyard, he' realize that anywhere paint is not completely covering steel, it rusts, quickly. So very shortly, his siding will look truly crappy, as it drips rust from every edge. Bay Area, meaning sea air, right? Hopefully his "Metalworker" understood this and treated the backside and edges. It's beautiful, but I hope others don't follow his lead without knowing how it will hold up.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 17 Hours Ago
        @karlInSanDiego
        A fair point, but the steel used in automotive applications gets a pretty good coating to prevent rust (galvanized). I'm not saying it won't eventually be an issue, but just pointing out that even on the backsides, it's not simply bare.
      • 17 Hours Ago
      Good job. It might not be a practice that becomes widespread, but it's definitely a design with which people can recognize that it is possible and doable. Cheers! Juan Miguel Ruiz (Going Green) http://www.GreenJoyment.com
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 17 Hours Ago
      it's an interesting enough exercise but I'm more a believer in an optimal design with purpose built components and just make sure the production is green rather than killing yourself doing something suboptimal with scavenged elements. scavenging ends up being less sustainable than a holistic approach. but it works as a singular statement.
      LEONARD
      • 17 Hours Ago
      Nice, and i would 2nd that straw bail container home.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 17 Hours Ago
      Very cool. Reduce, then Reuse... then Recycle!
      goodoldgorr
      • 17 Hours Ago
      Now he gonna construct a green car made with old house parts.