Rural Studio homes in Serenbe.

What stops innovation in housing is more than structural. Of course, when innovators change approaches to building, materials, design and engineering to make a strong, pleasing, and very affordable home, code and local regulatory officials don't get it.

This piece from Fast Company staffer Adele Peters, focuses on the work of Rural Studio, which has been a program at Auburn University, set in the town of Black Belt, Alabama, aimed at bringing safe, beautiful, comfortable homes to people for a cost of less than $20,000. Peters writes of both the technical challenge and the financial impediments, all of which may be overcome:

In January, after years of building prototypes, the team finished their first pilot project in the real world. Partnering with a commercial developer outside Atlanta, in a tiny community called Serenbe, they built two one-bedroom houses, with materials that cost just $14,000 each.


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