There are two types of wooden pallets made, HT (heat treated) and MB (Methyl-Bromide), we only use heat treated pallets in our designs and builds.
We are pushing for many homes built from this very high waste material, we use all natural materials as insulation, in this case being light straw clay which has an insulation value of about 1.5 per inch.
We then add an adobe plaster on the interior and exterior or the structure, this is typically local materials sources right from the build site! This provides both insulation and thermal mass!
This structure can be cladded and insulated with conventional materials, although obviously that is not what we are aiming for.
Roofing structures can be made from pallets and also from dimensional lumber as in conventional roof framing, then covered with corrugated metal, which will also allow for clean drinkable rainwater capture, the roof could also be thatched to catch rainwater.
A simple single gutter used to divert rainwater into rain barrels from the 225 sq. ft. roof, in Texas rainfall, could accumulate approx. 300-700 gallons each month.
The foundation could be built with or without a joist system, typically in earthen homes the actual ground is the floor, in countries where this is a necessity the wall system can be set directly onto either a cinder block, rock, or other material stem wall.
1. A rubble filled trench can be installed in the ground underneath this structure to provide a stabilized base as well as preventing rainwater from accumulating in the floor of the home.
2. Local materials such a s bamboo or other sources materials can be used to create the floor.
I have been building residential homes for 24 years, I know structural stability inside and out, the strength of a pallet home is comparable to that of a conventionally framed homes.
I will be travelling to South Dakota this July to build a family on the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation a 30x30 Pallet house using this exact method!!
more info HERE
Here are some links to videos of this pallet house being built!!