Top 10 Alternative Housing Ideas

Cob House: Nope, these aren't corn cobs. In green construction, cob refers to a mixture of earth and straw similar to the adobe homes.

Straw-bale Construction: Steel rods or bamboo reinforcements help strengthen straw-bale houses.

Shipping-crate Home: Shipping-container homes are gaining popularity. They can be cheaper to build than conventional.

Wood-pallet House: Volunteers work on the kitchen of a wood-pallet home in a Miami, Fla., shanty town.

Green Roof: A green roof is more than a cool architectural feature. It can help manage storm water runoff by providing a permeable surface.

Green Wall: This eco-friendly green wall was on display at the Sustainable Luxury Fair in Paris in 2010.

Earthship: While an Earthship may sound like some kind of local UFO, it's actually an eco-friendly form of housing becoming more popular around the world.

Beer Bottles: Put all those empty beer and soda bottles to good use -- recycle them into the walls of a new home.

Hemp Concrete: Traditional concrete is very energy intensive to create, so one Asheville, NC, company is looking to change that.

Modular Homes: If you like puzzles and construction, you may enjoy building a modular home from a kit.

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