Home Renovation Completed With the Help of Salvaged Materials

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Awhile back, architect Rolf Bruggink from Utrecht, Holland purchased a property on which stood an old, 1950s office building, and a coach house built in 1895. He planned to renovated the latter into a home, so he first demolished the office building. He salvaged a lot of materials from this demolition though, and reused them in the home renovation.

With the help of architect Niek Wagemans, Bruggink first drew up the plans of how to turn the old coach house into a modern home. Much of the focus was on reusing the old as much as possible, and to basically just give an old structure a new life. In that, they very much succeeded.

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The coach house measures 538 sq ft (50 sq m), which was all more or less one space. To create some partitions, they first inserted a series of enclosed, suspended wooden volumes, which basically divide up the house into the needed areas, namely bedrooms, bathroom and office. It was a very clever idea to use these suspended volumes for the purpose of separating off the space into different rooms, since the coach house had a very tall ceiling and this space was thus very well utilized.

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All these overlook the open plan dining, living and kitchen area. They also cut out a large window from the coach house wall to let in more natural light. The interior is very modern and minimalist, with a bit of an industrial aesthetic thrown in.

This is yet another example of a sustainable home renovation done right. It’s always more eco-friendly to live in an existing house, than to build a new one. And while they did demolish an office building in this case, they reused and salvaged a lot of the materials from that.

Couple Converts School Bus Into a Home

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Living in a mobile home is a dream for many, and there are many ways of living that dream. Filmmaker Felix Starck and musician Selima Taibi are a young German couple hailing from Berlin, and they recently transformed a yellow school bus into a cozy and quite comfortable home for themselves and their dog Rudi. They plan to live in it full time, while traveling from Alaska to South America.

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They used a 39-foot long 1996 Thomas International school bus for the purpose, which they purchased online for $9,500. Once they had it, they moved to the US and began the conversion process, dubbing the entire project Expedition Happiness. It took them 12 weeks to create a home out of the bus. Since they had next to no prior construction experience, they got help from online forums and communities, as well as another couple from North Carolina who had also successfully converted a school bus into a home.

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Apart from repurposing a school bus, they also used a number of other salvaged and repurposed materials, such as pallet wood. The interior is nicely spaced out, with a sizable sitting area and dining/work table at the front of the bus, behind the driver’s seat.

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The kitchen is also quite large, and features an angled counter, stove, sink and a refrigerator. The cupboards offer plenty of storage space. They split the bathroom into two halves along the middle of the bus, which is quite an interesting solution. The toilet is located in one half, and the shower in the other. They tiled the latter with handmade tiles.

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They built the bed themselves, and put large storage drawers underneath it. They also placed it right under the emergency escape hatch in the roof of the bus, which makes for a great skylight. The bus can be hooked up to the grid, but it also features a solar power array on the roof.

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The couple has already started their journey and vlog about the experience regularly.