In the story of The Three Little Pigs, only the house that was built with bricks was not blown down by the huffing and puffing of the big bad wolf. But a house made of paper has just gone on the market, and it might be better than bricks for millions of people surviving in shantytowns around the world.
The paper house is resin-soaked cellulose from recycled cardboard and newspapers which has been put under intense heat and pressure. The result is prefabricated building panels that are rainproof, strong, good insulators, earthquake proof, and very light.
And very cheap. An entire house with a veranda, sealed-off shower and toilet and sleeping accommodation for eight costs $5,000.
Paper houses are already being assembled by local developers in Nigeria and Angola. The inventor, Gerd Niemoeller from Germany, thinks paper houses are ideal for any place from Europe to Africa to Latin America where people are displaced and living in cobbled-together shacks or tents.