Open Building Institute

ose micro-home

The Open Building Institute (OBI)

Hello Indiegogo, my name is Marcin Jakubowski and I am a farmer and a scientist. Some of you may remember me from my 2011 Ted Talk where I expressed my frustration with my newly earned Ph.D. in fusion physics from Princeton University and its lack of relevance in solving real world issues. I also spoke about how shortly after my Ph.D. epiphany, I started a farm and set out to create a series of open source blueprints to create a civilization from scratch.

For those who don’t know me, I am the founder and director of Open Source Ecology (OSE), a non-profit organization dedicated to creating open source solutions for the advancement of humanity. We are also a creative lab and learning institute. By using open source protocols we have been developing The Global Village Construction Set  or (GVCS). GVCS is an open sourced hardware project that consists of the 50 machines required to build a civilization from the ground up. Machines that are a fraction of the cost of the major brand versions which are built to last for a lifetime of use unlike the models that have planned obsolescence incorporated in their design.

We have been busy at OSE over the past 5 years since that Ted Talk and have made excellent progress with the GVCS. One of the things we have learned along the way is that we can create the maximum disruption and help the most amount of people if we applied our open source hardware tools and principles to housing. So we did, and we achieved amazing results in the process. So much so, that my wife, Catarina Mota started The Open Building Institute, which is an open source, sustainable and ecological approach towards home construction.

In the last few years we have developed a high quality, robust, eco-friendly, sustainable, extremely affordable home that can be built just about anywhere in the world using locally sourced materials. Our current prototype is a 700 sq ft starter seed home with greenhouse which is modular by design and could be increased in size as the homeowners need for space or budget grows.

The base cost of the home including materials and labor is around $35,000 (not including land). To put these figures in perspective, the national average cost for new construction is $125 per sq ft and our average construction cost comes in at well under half that at $50 per sq ft.

Because our validation process was so successful with open source home construction, we are inviting the world to continue to help us further develop this exciting concept. Our goal is to improve upon our designs through trial and error – organize the information – and then make it available to the world as a free resource for anyone to use.

Open Source Eco-Toolkit

Our open source eco-building toolkit  is designed to make the construction of ecological housing easier, cheaper, faster, higher quality—and put it within the reach of everyone.

The OBI toolkit is entirely open source—free to use and modify—and will enable anyone to:

  • Design a house and/or greenhouse—that respects the planet and can be expanded as your needs and family grow—using a library of modules that fit together like building blocks
  • Learn how to build with instructionals and training programs
  • Organize the rapid-build of a house loaded with ecological features