When EcoSteel client David Rifkind and his wife, Holly Zickler set out to build The Tin Box, they didn’t realize their project would become such a large public spectacle. This green design has since drawn the attention of neighbors and news channels alike; just one of many unintended consequences they have experienced by building their home from 100 percent recycled steel materials.

The couple and their design dream team had three major objections in mind; bring in social sustainability, ecological sustainability and mix it with top notch design quality. The result? A beautifully functional, economically manufactured home strong enough to withstand hurricanes, termites, mold, and any other growths typical of tropical living.


Here’s how EcoSteel helped produce this award winning residence:

Social sustainability: Located adjacent to public parks, The Tin Box serves to enrich the community by helping people see how simple energy conservation is, and how it can easily be achieved in normal day to day living. The house has also provoked local discussion about sustainable construction and site development strategies, in addition to providing an opportunity for building inspectors to study the successful use of steel technologies.

Ecological sustainability: The Tin Box was designed to use the least amount of energy and water possible. Not only during its construction period, but throughout the function of the home, an effort to “both reduce energy demand and replace fossil fuels.” Rifkind says. The home uses 100 percent recycled water gathered from steel rainwater cistern outside. The water is then run through three filters, a string filter, a UV lamp and a charcoal filter which purifies the water for indoor use.

Quality design: The home features a structural steel frame, with prefabricated panels which consume just one-seventh of the energy needed to fabricate a traditional home in the Miami area, making it ideal for solar and wind energy capability. With the durability of steel material from EcoSteel, also comes additional energy saving tactics-the strength of this unconventional frame keeps its stature safe from natural disasters and other harsh weather conditions.

From affordability to planted green roofing, this high-performance building is sure to have long lasting admiration. And with the goal of building a net-zero energy home, this couple gets to reap the benefits of economic reward, as well as an abundance of personal gratification.


EcoSteel specializes in providing all-steel materials for economical and durable architectural development. They use 3D technology to bring their structural concepts to life, allowing their architect and builder counterparts to continue the design process by visually honing in on the specifications of each project. For more information about their steel material and collaborative efforts, visit EcoSteel.com.


This originally appeared on EcoSteel.com and was written by Kerissa Glentz. Click through to learn more and see all the full-size photos.