While the World Hands Project is currently going through internal re-organization I was happy to find that during past workshops they’ve helped people down in Mexico build some simple homes from shipping pallets.
Instead of using some kind of manufactured insulation they’ve actually been packing the pallet cavities with a cob like mixture. I imagine that this doesn’t add much structural strength but it would add some thermal mass and insulation qualities to the walls.
I’m not sure I would recommend this approach (mixing structural wood and dirt) since it might invite termites or rot over time but it does seem like a novel way to approach pallet house construction. I’m curious to know how these homes hold up over time. (Update: See the comments for more info on using pallets and cob and wood together)
To learn more about the World Hands Project and potential future workshops visit their website. World Hands Project