The Pallet Pavilion, Germany


This is the Pallet Pavilion by Matthias Loebermann, built as a temporary meeting place for media and athletes after the World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany. It's made from 1,300 shipping pallets held together with truck pull straps. The pavilion was (it's dismantled now) about 6m (20ft) heigh, 8m (26ft) wide and 18m (59ft) long. The reuse of materials is nothing new in architecture, Gaudi built Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain with reused materials. There are all sorts of things you can make with pallets and fruit boxes. Take a look at these videos for a few ideas.


Four Pallet Projects...


This is a pallet chaise longue. You can see some of the construction details on Esprit Cabane (French).


An easy to make nest box using untreated pallet wood. Designed to attract the small birds.


Build a 5 Euro greenhouse from pallets. More details on The Green Lever.


An simple design for a garden chair that folds out into a table bench.


  The pallet chaise longue  

pallet chaise longue

  The pallet bird box  

pallet bird box

  The pallet greenhouse  

5 euro pallet greenhouse

  Folding garden chair and bench  

Folding garden chair & bench


Selecting Safe Pallet Wood...


International regulations require pallet manufacturers to treat pallet wood either by using chemicals (MB) or heat (HT). A pallet marked with HT (see right) means it has been heat treated or kiln dried. HT pallets are generally safe although the products shipped on them may have contaminated the wood. You should NOT use pallets marked with MB. Only use pallets marked with HT but reject a pallet if it smells, looks oily or is stained. Having selected your HT pallets always wash the planks you've selected with soapy water and allow them to dry before you start your project. To avoid using contaminated wood, be sure to confirm the origin and use of a pallet. Pallets used locally for materials such as textiles or paper products are safest. See also guidelines for using pallets.

The pallet stamp pictured right has three parts. The upper text describes the country of manufacture (GB - Great Britain) followed by the manufacturers licence number. Below that on the left is the IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) logo and on the right is the treatment code DB (de-barked) HT (heat treated). 180 countries comply to the IPPC's standard, the most recent of them are Afghanistan (5th June 2013) and Lesotho (24th  October 2013). The two trees (optional) in this example represent the UK Forestry Commission.


The Pallet Truss...

Chris Magwood's book 'Making Better Buildings' includes a section on using pallets for making roof trusses. The pallet truss was developed by architect Alfred von Bachmayer who first used them to build affordable housing in Mexico.

After several prototypes Alfred developed a simple way to construct structurally sound trusses. His truss design was modelled in a computer to identify the required number of nails for each joint. Glue at each joint gave the extra capability needed nailing from both sides to tighten the joints.

Pallet trusses can be made to span distances for both floors and roofs. More generally 'Making Better Buildings' gives a thorough overview of wooden trusses, their environmental impact, durability, cost, hours and skill required to make them.




Share a thought with your friends...


  More on natural homes...