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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Woman to build house out of 747
Francie Rehwald inspects the Boeing 747 wing which will be used to build her house

A California woman is going ahead with the construction of a house made of elements from a 747 Jumbo jet.

Francie Rehwald wanted her house to look "feminine", have curves and be eco-friendly. Her architect's answer was: "Let's use a 747!"

The wing of the Boeing jet will be used for the roof, its nose as a meditation temple while its trademark "bulge" will serve as a loft.

The plane's parts were obtained from an aeroplane scrap yard in California.

They cost around $100,000 (56,000) to purchase, while the construction of the project, which is expected to start in June, is thought likely to cost several million dollars by the time it is completed.

Ms Rehwald's family owns one of California's largest Mercedes-Benz dealerships.

The property will be set on a 55-acre (22-ha) piece of land on the remote Malibu hills, looking out onto a nearby mountain range, a valley and the Pacific Ocean.

Sustainable

The project's architect, David Hertz, says he came up with the idea of using an aeroplane to build a home to Ms Rehwald's specifications.

It seemed to make more sense to acquire an entire aeroplane and to use as many of the components as possible, like the Native American Indians used every part of the buffalo
David Hertz, architect

"It soon became apparent, that in fact, an aeroplane wing itself could work," he says on his website.

"In researching aeroplane wings and superimposing different aeroplane wing types on the site to scale, the wing of a 747, at over 2,500 sq ft, became an ideal configuration to maximise the views and provide a self-supporting roof with minimal additional structural support needed.

"As we analysed the cost, it seemed to make more sense to acquire an entire aeroplane and to use as many of the components as possible, like the Native American Indians used every part of the buffalo."

The green aspect of the project was also important, he says.

"The recycling of the 4.5 million parts of this 'big aluminium can' is seen as an extreme example of sustainable reuse and appropriation. American consumers and industry throw away enough aluminium in a year to rebuild our entire aeroplane commercial fleet every three months."

Ms Rehwald has to obtain various permits to go ahead with construction.

In particular, she has been asked by the civil aviation authorities to mark the elements of the plane visible from the sky to show that they are not part of a crashed aircraft.

747 WING HOUSE
Computer rendering of the house
The house will take in mountain, valley and sea views




SEE ALSO:
California town on sale on eBay
04 Apr 06 |  Americas


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