The Passive house (or Passivhaus to give it the original German title) movement is a wonderful thing. What could be wrong with a voluntary standard that encourages people to make their houses as energy efficient as possible? Well, it's complicated.
No seriously, these things are really hard to build. That's what makes the Pop-Up House so interesting. Designed by French architecture firm multipod studio, this passive House-compliant three bedroom home requires almost no additional heating. It's basically built out of insulation. More specifically, it's built out of insulating blocks that fit together like Lego. Wood panels wrap around the outside, and the whole thing is recyclable.
Perhaps more importantly, the Pop-Up House is cheap to build. The architects don't say exactly how much it costs to build, but they do boast about the use of inexpensive materials and short assembly time. How short? Multipod just posted a video of a complete assembly in the south of France that took just four days from bare ground to complete house. And get this: the only tool they needed to build it was an electric screwdriver.
So, let's sum all that up. Some French geniuses have designed a house that's cheap, assembles like Lego, can be recycled, costs very little, and looks pretty awesome? And you can build it with nothing but a screwdriver and your bare hands? I'll take three, please. [multipod]