Hobbit House

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    Carol
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    Hobbit House

    Post  Carol on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:54 am

    Hobbit House

    Pics, text and building plans at link.

    http://www.simondale.net/house/index.htm

    "You are looking at pictures of our family home in Wales. It was built by myself and my father in law with help from passers by and visiting friends. 4 months after starting we were moved in and cosy. I estimate 1000-1500 man hours and £3000 put in to this point. Not really so much in house buying terms (roughly £60/sq m excluding labour).

    The house was built with maximum regard for the environment and by reciprocation gives us a unique opportunity to live close to nature. Being your own (have a go) architect is a lot of fun and allows you to create and enjoy something which is part of yourself and the land rather than, at worst, a mass produced box designed for maximum profit and convenience of the construction industry. Building from natural materials does away with producers profits and the cocktail of carcinogenic poisons that fill most modern buildings."

    Some key points of the design and construction:

    • Dug into hillside for low visual impact and shelter

    • Stone and mud from diggings used for retaining walls, foundations etc.

    • Frame of oak thinnings (spare wood) from surrounding woodland

    • Reciprocal roof rafters are structurally and aesthaetically fantastic and very easy to do

    • Straw bales in floor, walls and roof for super-insulation and easy building

    • Plastic sheet and mud/turf roof for low impact and ease

    • Lime plaster on walls is breathable and low energy to manufacture (compared to cement)

    • Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings

    • Anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere (windows, burner, plumbing, wiring...)

    • Woodburner for heating - renewable and locally plentiful

    • Flue goes through big stone/plaster lump to retain and slowly release heat

    • Fridge is cooled by air coming underground through foundations

    • Skylight in roof lets in natural feeling light

    • Solar panels for lighting, music and computing

    • Water by gravity from nearby spring

    • Compost toilet

    • Roof water collects in pond for garden etc.

    Main tools used: chainsaw, hammer and 1 inch chisel, little else really. Oh and by the way I am not a builder or carpenter, my experience is only having a go at one similar house 2yrs before and a bit of mucking around inbetween. This kind of building is accessible to anyone. My main relevant skills were being able bodied, having self-belief and perseverence and a mate or two to give a lift now and again.





    Last edited by Carol on Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Carol
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    Re: Hobbit House

    Post  Carol on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:54 am

    On a slightly different note, try http://www.calearth.org/

    These houses are beehive shape and are legal to build in this area. They are all over the planet now in areas that have had various disasters because they are so easy to build and the materials are not so hard to get. They are very resistant to quakes, floods and high winds, even hurricanes/tornados due to their shape.

    "Cal-Earth is at the cutting edge of Earth Art and Ceramic Architecture technologies today. Founded and directed by the internationally renowned architect and author Nader Khalili in 1986, it's scope spans technical innovations published by NASA for lunar base construction, to design and development of housing for the world's homeless for the United Nations. "

    They are located in Hesperia, CA and have free tours once a month.

    Another type of off the grid/eco house called Earthships. Invented by a american guy called Michael Reynolds.

    Check it out.

    http://www.earthship.net/

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    Re: Hobbit House

    Post  Carol on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:55 am

    This is such an excellent article that was posted earlier and also filled with great tips.

    Lost middle-class tribe's 'secret' eco-village in Wales spotted in aerial photograph taken by plane

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10...aken-plane.html








    The original 180-acre farm was divided up into the area around the farm, a section around the original roundhouse known as Tir Ysbrydol (Spirit Land) where Mrs Orbach lives, and 80 acres of pasture and woodland run by a community known as Brithdir Mawr.

    Each community is independent and they co-exist as neighbours in a more traditional style.

    Brithdir Mawr continues to support sustainable living based around the original farmhouse, with eight adults and four children sharing communal meals, looking after goats, horses and chickens - and also holding down part-time jobs to raise the £200 per month rent they each pay Mr Orbach, who lives in a house in nearby Newport.

    The current residents now run businesses such as courses in furniture making and sustainable living for around £95 a head.

    On their website they explain: 'We are eight big people and four little ones who choose to live here: working, eating, meeting and laughing together. Being a community is a large part of what we do. To sum up the rest; we are striving towards a life in which our footprints are as light as they can be.'

    One resident, Ben Gabel, 38, who runs a seed business with his partner Kate, said: 'It is completely different to what it was. Most people would consider the set-up quite normal.

    'The kids watch DVDs and we run a business from the farm.'

    Carol
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    Re: Hobbit House

    Post  Carol on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:56 am

    Inside a Hobbit House.





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    Re: Hobbit House

    Post  Carol on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:57 am

    Here are other ideas as well.


    http://www.strawbale.com/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_bale_house

    http://ptlogcrafters.com/gallery.html


    http://www.makepapercrete.com/



    rammed earth

    http://rammedearth.blogspot.com/

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Moder...ing-Costs.aspx

    http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/rammedearth.htm
    also other ideas including Earthbag construction.


    Rammed Earth video- Melbourne resident John Novotny
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...74008049870920

    Adobe or cob also

    Cody Lundin has built one out of rebar and concrete (if you're concerned about fire) -
    http://www.codylundin.com/codys_house.html

    Earthbag

    http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/earthbag.htm

    http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/Qan...hshipQandA.htm
    Links to the Ask the Experts page

    Michael Reynolds, creator of the Earthship concept, is a world leader in environmental building. He is the author of five books and has 30 years experience designing and building fully self-sufficient homes. The innovative Earthship design combines passive solar heating with thermal mass construction to create buildings that heat and cool themselves without consuming fossil fuels. Earthships create all their own electrical power with sun and wind, collect and treat their own water with integrated water systems. The main building block of the Earthship makes use of one of the worlds most plentiful, and most troublesome “natural resources”, scrap automobile tires. Thousands of Earthships have been built all over the world in the US, Canada, Mexico, Bolivia, Japan, South Africa, Honduras and Belgium. Michael's Earthship/Biotecture website provides a wealth of information about his innovative building concepts

    check out the documentary The Garbage Warrior sometime
    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=2KYJ0dsd-x0
    this is just a trailer for it. I rented it from the video store, it was great

    These girls are in British Columbia but they have good info and ideas on their site. I am going to take a course with them this summer.
    http://www.mudgirls.ca/Site/upcoming.html

    Our natural building workshops vary in location and duration, but are always muddy, fun, inspiring, empowering and hard work. Participants leave with an understanding of natural building and the confidence and inspiration to start their own project: cabin, outhouse, garden shed, oven. Whatever you can dream, you can build!

    Each workshop has a focus of learning that goes beyond building. Some examples of these are sustainable living, activism, alternative technology, permaculture, healing with art and play, and earth spirituality.

    We aim to share skills and knowledge with folks of any physical and financial ability who want to learn to build naturally. We lead workshops both for women only, and ones for women and men.

    http://www.mudgirls.ca/Site/upcoming.html
    Mud Girls
    Magical dwellings...
    a desire of mine.
    Thanks for sharing this link JudyKott

    you tube vids

    cob
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abYZLmPwgwQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLf8J7k69j0

    Sandbag/ earthbag shelters
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ0dq4VmTvw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMNzo...eature=related

    Eco Dome
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R647it4LAg

    The above is from AJ's thread at AV.

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    Re: Hobbit House

    Post  Carol on Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:59 am

    Life Cube - a blow-up survival shelter

    http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2...able-hous.html

    SAN FRANCISCO — In tough circumstances, sometimes all you need is hope, but other times you need a blow-up survival shelter featuring a bed, a couch, freeze-dried food, a 50-gallon water bladder, a first-aid kit, a radio and a cookstove.

    And the latter is exactly what the "Life Cube" from startup Inflatable World is designed to provide. Packaged into a four-foot-tall cube, it inflates into a 12-foot-tall structure built from the same thick plastic as a bouncy house.

    Designed to provide shelter and basic amenities for people in the days and weeks after a disaster, the instant housing will come with a $3,900 price tag, so the company's first market could be wealthy survivalists.

    "We need a versatile design that is completely self-contained that gives you instant survival," said Nick Pedersen, business development head of the fledgling startup, based in Santa Barbara, California. "We'll get you through the critical first 72 hours and beyond."

    Inflatable World isn't the first company to focus on short-term housing for disaster-struck areas. In fact, a wide variety of architects and builders, notably TED-grantee Cameron Sinclair and Architecture for Humanity, have designed structures to keep people alive in the aftermath of calamity. But Inflatable World sees a market between the long-term FEMA trailers and the tents used in the immediate recovery efforts.

    In FEMA's 2008 Disaster Housing Plan, officials identified the period after the initial disaster but before homes can be rebuilt as a major priority.

    "Finding and providing the actual structures to house displaced disaster victims during this interim housing period is the most tangible challenge that emergency management officials, at all levels of government, face," they wrote (.pdf).

    In developing countries, providing basic shelter after disasters is even more difficult. When a major quake struck Pakistan in October 2005, 74,000 people died, most of them from exposure to the elements in the weeks after the initial disaster. Just last week, another major earthquake struck Pakistan, prompting Red Cross officials to note the "urgent need for shelter and blankets."

    Right now, Pedersen said that Inflatable World was trying to raise one million dollars in capital to begin production of the Life Cubes. They'll be targeting first-responder agencies like the Red Cross as well as consumers in disaster-prone areas in the southeastern United States.

    Though the Life Cube is the company's flagship product, and what made them a finalist at yesterday's Department of Energy-sponsored California Clean Tech Open, Inflatable World is also looking to sell other blow-up structures, including a next-gen slip and slide, because even the post-apocalypse should be fun.


    http://www.theinflatableworld.com/


    Last edited by Carol on Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:01 am; edited 1 time in total

    Carol
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    Re: Hobbit House

    Post  Carol on Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:00 am

    This shelter is amazing as well.



    Building in a Bag — Just Add Water

    Disaster-relief policies often require building structures with short lifespans to avoid permanent migration, even though crises can often take several years or decades to resolve. As a result, temporary settlements are often left standing long after the initial response period, resulting in inadequate long-term housing and substandard living conditions.

    The award-winning Concrete Canvas Shelter requires no training to assemble and just water to inflate.

    Setup is a snap -- just fill the sack of cement-impregnated fabric with water and unfold it. The structure is then inflated with a chemical pack containing a measured amount of gas. In less than a day, the structure has expanded, hardened and is ready for use -- just cut doors and spaces for ventilation from the newly formed concrete "cloth." Additionally, the shelter can be delivered sterile for emergency medical use.

    The building-in-a-bag is designed to provide shelter, as well as infrastructure like buildings for headquarters, relief-worker housing and supply storage.

    The durable structure has a low overall mass for good earthquake performance, and the shell's thermal properties can be enhanced by covering it with earth or snow. The British engineers behind the project, Peter Brewin and William Crawford, are field-testing prototypes of the design.

    http://www.concretecanvas.co.uk/
    http://www.concretecanvas.co.uk/28CCSVideo.html


    If you would like to purchase any of our Concrete Canvas Shelter units, please contact Concrete Canvas Ltd. directly, specifying how many units and of which variant you require, at sales@concretecanvas.co.uk or telephone +44 (0)845 6801908.

    Here is a different shelter video on setting it up.
    http://www.gvshelters.com/20m_assembly.htm

    chelmostef

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    Re: Hobbit House

    Post  chelmostef on Wed May 05, 2010 4:05 pm

    It's funny, this is the sort of house I've been day dreaming about building.. I told my girlfriend about the house, about and how it would be and how I would build it... She said "so you want to build a Hobbit house then?"... But unfortunatly my idea would use concrete in its constuction.. In this moment in time its not so good enviromentally...

    B.B. Baghor

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    Interior of Hobbit home

    Post  B.B. Baghor on Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:20 pm

    Thank you so much, Carol, for all this info on ecological homes and sustainable/natural living, great!
    The interior of the Hobbit home looks unbelievably fairy tale like, even like a painting, especially the landscape through the door. Is the inside of the home for real? It's quite stunning!I've been studying the Earthships design, recently, there's going to be a village in Holland, of these kind of homes. Also quite some Yurts are in use today, here in Holland. There's a Dutch factory for them in Amsterdam, here's the website www.nooitmeerhaast.nl
    The owner is such a craftsman and perfectionist, he is viewed by the Mongoleans as the master Yurt builder, he lives most of the time in their midst. The crazy thing is that the indigenous people overthere want plasticlike instant yurts, to throw away, while this Dutchman builds them for life, original style with wood, rope, felt and cotton. He wrote a book, a manual, about how to build them, explaining every detail. I have this book and it's a treasure! It all begins with finding a big long living tree and start a friendship with it(:
    Attachments
    Wintervuurplaats 2008 (14).JPG
    These yurts were build and occupied, during a Christmas celebration in Holland called Wintervuurplaats
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    Re: Hobbit House

    Post  Carol on Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:48 pm

    I almost bought something similar that had all the beautiful Tibetan painting on the interior woodwork. After looking at shipping costs and then thinking about the humidity of our area decided against it. These shelters are great. Thank you for posting the link.


    _________________
    What is life?
    It is the flash of a firefly in the night, the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

    With deepest respect ~ Aloha & Mahalo, Carol

    B.B. Baghor

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    Hobbit house, message from Carol

    Post  B.B. Baghor on Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:24 pm

    Thanks, Carol, I know the humidity of environment is an extra time consuming factor, in Yurts.
    Of course, in Holland it's quite humid too, mostly under sealevel:)Burning the stove regularly is a solution.
    The energy is very good, inside a Yurt, specially when the decorations are rich and the stove and candles burn, with a snowstorm outside....which we had, during Christmas, on that spot where the picture is taken.
    I cherish the Yurt manual for whenever the occasion arises, to build such a home/shelter. The system is amazingly efficient and all the loose parts can be transported in a truck. While talking about it, I feel the longing to live naturally, in the wild. France is quite popular for natural living communities, making HOME in emptied villages and mountain vallys in the South, near Spain. MMMHHHhhhhmmmmm! How happy I would be to be able to sustain the life of myself and people around me, without having to pay rent, energy or taxes.
    I am quite surprised by all the different ways to build a shelter, Carol! Thanks again, for all the info you posted. I wish you wellbeing, Carol.


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