If you're searching for examples of modern, affordable, green architecture, look no further. The Rural Studio project of Alabama's Auburn University College of Architecture does just that. Through this program, architecture students are provided with the opportunity to design and build homes and other projects that benefit rural, impoverished Alabama communities and families. Started by architect and professor Samuel Mockbee in 1991, the program has been a positive force in Alabama since that time, creating homes for people who would otherwise be unable to afford them.
The program requires that architecture students spend some of their semesters in rural Hale County, Alabama, to design and build a charity home or community project for members of that community. The homes are built in a modern style using inexpensive and innovative materials, and the project has built a number of homes for $20,000, using green and locally sourced materials.
The architecture school notes that, "To most, the measure of success of the Rural Studio is in its built projects; in reality, its success is measured by its effect upon the lives of the faculty, students, families, and communities it touches. It is not only the buildings that make the Rural Studio what it is, but also the education the students receive about architecture and about society."
To check out some of the homes designed and built through the Rural Studio, check out the gallery.