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December 08, 2022 3 min read

Eco-Igloo Wins the OMG Prize!

Welcome back to another happy Earth news story GFZ’s! This week’s story takes place right in our backyard here on the Sunny Coast…

Airbnb has put together a fund for designers, architects, and DIY-ers around the world, which shows us the craziest and most outstanding building ideas for accommodation and it’s called 'OMG!'.

The 'OMG! Fund' contains a whopping $10M USD to be shared among 100 winners from 23 countries and the entries are seriously cool, however, it’s one Sunshine Coast sculptor that has us dancing in our eco-friendly boots! 

Believe it or not, the Aussie design turning heads on the 'OMG!' panel is an Eco Igloo! 

Yep, you read that right! Of course, this igloo is far from the frosty creations we imagine AND you could even get a chance to stay in it on your next holiday! Let’s dive into the deets!

What is an Eco Igloo?

Prize winner, Cath Wild, is building (or should we say sculpting) what is believed to be the first Eco Igloo of its kind in Australia. 

The igloo is made using a material called aircrete and is constructed in the shape of 4 domes. The 6000 handmade aircrete bricks are best described as ‘concrete with bubbles’ and they act as an incredible building agent that is surprisingly affordable! It is made with a blend of cement, water, and air bubbles (or foam). Because it iscomposed of all-organic materials and uses less of them than traditional concrete, it is extremely environmentally friendly.

The bricks are insulative, sound-proof, pest-proof, cyclone-proof, and super lightweight for DIY-friendly buildings. In the diverse climate of Australia, this material could be the perfect match! 

Inside the 4 domes is a 90-square meter, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home with laundry, study, kitchen, dining, and lounge spaces.

What’s more, is that these domes are actually being built to blend into the lush rainforest backdrop to complement the beauty of nature and encourage submersion in the surroundings. 

Why an Igloo?

Cath Wild knew her Igloo project was unique, and that’s why she knew deep down that she has a real shot at winning the prize too! Of course, the journey hasn’t been easy sculpting such a unique home. 

Aside from the hours and hours of labour, finding an engineer to sign off on the project for council approval was a tricky feat. The reason Kath pushed so hard through this is simple - she was determined to pave the way for others to create their own igloo projects. 

Cath explained, “You don’t need registered building skills to build an aircrete dome home … it’s very doable for women and I’m really proud to be part of that movement.”. She continues to explain the advantages of a project like this, detailing that “If they (builders) think outside the box, they can actually afford to build quite a large home for about $20,000 in materials.”

How cool is that?!

What Does Winning the WOW! Prize Mean?

The funds from The Airbnb Wow! Fund will award Cath with up to $100k USD, which equates to about $149,000 AU. 

The funds will go towards the completion of the build and Kath is very excited about what this means for her project. With unexpected funds at her disposal, she will be able to hire professionals to take care of jobs that would take her months to complete, speeding up the build process and ensuring the safest build possible. 

“I’m so excited to win and to get such an amazing financial boost to finish the dome off to a standard I never thought achievable,” Cath explains. 

Book Your Stay in the Eco Igloo!

Before Cath moves into her DIY dream home, you could have a chance to try it out yourself! As per the rules of the contest, Cath must hire out the build through Airbnb for 12 months, after which time she plans to settle into the estate and soak up the beauty of her hard work. 

So, if you’re looking for a unique and eco-friendly holiday on the Sunshine Coast, this bnbmay be the holiday house of your dreams! With only 100 winners from tens of thousands of entrants, we have no doubts that this build will be one for the books!

*Immediately packs bags* 

Thanks for tuning in for another feel-good story GFZ’s! Have another happy Earth news story to share with us? We’d love to hear from you at askusanything@goforzero.com.au

Until next week, 

GFZ team xox

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