Small-scale model houses can be made out of Styrofoam, using glue or pins and a utility knife. Alternatively, houses that are large enough to live in can be constructed out of Styrofoam using plastic ribbing and concrete for reinforcement.
Foam is a common modeling material for architects and hobbyists alike, as it is cheap, easily manipulated into a variety of shapes, rigid enough to hold together and light enough to easily move. One of the most common foams used is foamcore, but sheets of Styrofoam can also be adapted to build small models. All that is needed is a sketch of the final design, a utility knife for carving the foam, and glue or pins to attach the cut pieces to one another. White glue is especially effective, but glue guns can also be used for a quicker-drying method. Large sections of the model should be cut first, then smaller interior sections, such as detailing, doors or windows.
Styrofoam can also be used to construct human habitations. These Styrofoam houses are made using speciality foam bricks that are hollow inside and contain plastic ribbing. The ends of the blocks have nodules that allow them to lock together like toy bricks. Once the Styrofoam is put in place, concrete is poured inside the hollows to make the house strong and heavy. The Styrofoam serves as a kind of inside-out insulation that is very energy efficient.