This is such a great initiative from Simon who lives in Wales. The house was built by him, his father in law, and some friends. It required around 4 months, 1000-1500 man hours, and £3000 ($5700) to complete.
It was built with maximum regard for the environment and it gives the opportunity to live close to the nature. Simon says that it is fun to plan and create something that is yours. When you use natural materials, you can do away with producer profits and carcinogenic poisons that fill most modern buildings.
Some key points of the house are:
- 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.