Schnetzer and Gregor built upon what they learned from constructing modular pallet houses, improving upon their original design to make it even more affordable. In previous designs, the pallets were used as floors, walls, ceilings and cladding, but they required sturdy wood beams, which were the most expensive part of the home. The new round design eliminates some of these expensive beams, but it’s still designed and built to European standards for structural soundness.
In Johannesburg, temperatures can fluctuate from 45 degrees C in the summer to -2 degrees in the winter, and many homes are not equipped to keep residents comfortable. Most shelters are made out of metal sheets and wooden beams — these serve well to keep the rain out, but provide no insulation, so they are sweltering in the summer and freezing in the winter. Residents usually burn whatever they can find to provide heat — even discarded pallets that they find at nearby factories.