The assignment was to design a house that could be built on a hill site in Ludlow, Vermont for under $100,000. Each student was assigned a type/category to work with (i.e. solar powered, recycled materials, prefabricated, Vermont vernacular, etc.) and I was assigned the underground or bermed house.
The house is made of four interconnected recycled shipping containers, and partially bermed to naturally retain heat in the winter months. A system of mirrored surfaces on the interior reflect light down into the house. Materials costs for the entire building are under $100,000, and under $1 per square foot.