CQUniversity student Angus Hughes built his own student pad out of timber pallets and packing timber.
CQUniversity student Angus Hughes built his own student pad out of timber pallets and packing timber.

Uni student builds his own pad - using timber pallets

ALTHOUGH many university students look for shared accommodation or even a room at a residential college while they hit the books, Angus Hughes thought he'd build his own perfect student pad - made from timber pallets.

When Angus did his budget for the perfect little student pad his biggest expense was for screws, and a few cartons of beer to reward mates who de-nailed some preloved timber.

That's right, Angus's unique multi-level abode is made almost entirely from cast-off timber which normally would have made its way to the rubbish tip.

Angus started the environmentally-friendly project while he was on university holidays last year.

Local businesses were happy to provide Angus with their surplus wooden pallets and packing case timber, while discarded roofing iron and iron pipe stumps completed the project.

"The size of the pallets dictated the size of the house which is three pallets high, three pallets wide and five pallets long," Angus said.

"The exterior and interior walls are made from pallets, while the floor has been created from packing timber which was donated by a local glazing business."

The second-year CQUniversity civil engineering student recently moved in a few mod cons - fridge, TV and barbecue - along with beds and other furniture made by his father, making it the perfect student pad.

The house is located on his family property on the outskirts of Rockhampton and is "just about" waterproof. Cyclone rating? "We'll have to wait and see when one heads our way," he jokes.

Fine tuning is still under way with plans afoot for mozzie screens and other comforts of home.

"I saw a documentary about the use of pallets for housing refugees in Haiti and that gave me the idea," Angus said. "I got advice from engineers and used the CAD design software at uni... my family and student friends have helped out, especially with de-nailing timber.

"I've documented our progress in a few reports I've done for engineering classes."

Angus now has plans to expand into a bigger pallet house project, possibly involving a wider range of students and seeking formal planning approval. He says an expanded project may even become the basis of a future student research venture and has considered applying for grants to get it off the ground.

Angus now has the bug for designing houses, but plans to complete his engineering degree before exploring architecture as a career.

CASTAWAY CORNER: Angus Hughes has built his own student pad entirely from left-over pallets and packing timber.
CASTAWAY CORNER: Angus Hughes has built his own student pad entirely from left-over pallets and packing timber. Peter Lawrence

World's top five bizarre building products

Ice In a village in Sweden, a hotel is constructed entirely out of ice each year. Every room is carved in ice, including the beds.

Beer A Buddhist temple in Thailand has been constructed from a million glass beer bottles. The monks who built it wished to highlight the wasteful nature of consumption.

Newspaper In 1922 Elis Stenman began building a house out of newspaper. Apart from the timber frame, the house was made from rolled and varnished newspaper.

Tyres As millions of tyres are thrown away each year, they make the ideal, recycled building material. They are tough, can be stacked creatively and provide great insulation.

Plastic bottles In Thailand, an exhibition hall has been made entirely from recycled plastic bottles. Plastic bottles are becoming a popular resource for many innovative designers as they cost very little and once sealed provide good insulation.

Swedish ice hotel
Swedish ice hotel

Smiling service wins

Smiling service wins

Best of the best for local Bridgestone store

Plenty of holiday adventure out in local environs

Plenty of holiday adventure out in local environs

Juniors working for the environment

Call of the wild funds upsets CARA leader

Call of the wild funds upsets CARA leader

Noosa Council urged to extend grants funding

Local Partners