A tiny cabin built with beetle-infested wood

Design studio HANNAH turned beetle-infested waste wood into a sculptural cabin

By Hugh Metcalf | 17 December 2020

US-based design studio HANNAH found a way to avoid wasting huge quantities of beetle-infested timber from ash trees. The practice built a tiny cabin in upstate New York as a study of the material. It offers a sustainable construction solution.

cabin made from beetle infested wood in new york - self build homes - grand designs

Image: Andy Chen

An invasive Emerald Ash Borer beetle infestation results in timber that is not suitable for processing by timber mills. This is because the logs have an irregular shape. The waste wood is dealt with by being burnt or is left to decompose. Both methods add to the overall carbon footprint of this ash timber.

tiny cabin made from beetle infested wood - self build homes - grand designs

Image: Andy Chen

The practice gave the timber a new purpose with precision 3D scanning and a robotic arm with a bandsaw attachment. ‘It’s a combination of our design research and thinking in response to the urgent condition of our natural environment and possible modes of intervention,’ says Leslie Lok, Hannah’s co-principal.