For sure, Dai Haifei has become a local celebrity in the capital. His egg-shaped mobile house "is being touted as an answer to provide affordable accommodation to thousands of migrant laborers flocking to Beijing in search of work," said an article in Hindu Business Line on Dec 2.
The 6-square-meter homemade hut has a bamboo frame with a sack-mosaic skin filled with sawdust and grass seeds. Furnishings are simple: a one-meter-wide bed, a nightstand, a lamp and some basic washing facilities.
A solar panel and charged batteries supply power to the structure. One flaw is that it does not have a toilet.
Dai, 24, is a recent graduate from Hunan province who has joined the ranks of Beijing drifters in pursuit of a better life.
The article pointed out that an "average home in the capital" sells for "19,548 yuan ($ 2,940) a meter in November." "I rented a home at the very beginning - a small room in an apartment that cost me about 900 yuan ($135) a month," said Dai Haifei, whereas 6,400 yuan ($1,000) covered all the building costs of the green home.
The eco dwelling way of life has improved Dai Haifei's quality of life. More money is available for leisure activities, such as "swimming and sauna." Besides, he spends far less time traveling to his job: the bedsit, located on a piece of lawn in a courtyard, is just a minute's walk from the company.
The article went on to say that some respondents online praised the originality but felt sad about it: "Many said they liked his spirit but doubted the idea would serve as a long-term solution."