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  1. #1
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    Low-impact Hobbitt house!

    I thought this was an interesting site with some great pics. Check out the rest of it- plenty of pictures of the actual construction and the like, with some blueprints, etc. Looks like it would be a fun place to live, especially for live-action RPG Middle Earthers.

    [/imgr]You are looking at pictures of a house I built for our family 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.[/imgr]
    [/imgl]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.



    This building is one part of a low-impact or permaculture approach to life. This sort of life is about living in harmony with both the natural world and ourselves, doing things simply and using appropriate levels of technology. These sort of low cost, natural buildings have a place not only in their own sustainability, but also in their potential to provide affordable housing which allows people access to land and the opportunity to lead more simple, sustainable lives. For example this house was made to house our family whilst we worked in the woodland surrounding the house doing ecological woodland management and setting up a forest garden, things that would have been impossible had we had to pay a regular rent or mortgage. To read more about why we did it and why this is an important option to meet the challenges of climate change and peak oil, click here.


    Would you like to learn more about this sort of building and gain practical experience? Why not join us on another exciting building project. There will be opportunities for everyone of all abilities and areas of interest. Click here for more details.
    [/imgl]
    A Low Impact Woodland Home

  2. #2
    Member mordred's Avatar
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    Nice find Killerbees. Love the idea. I wonder how it will hold up.

  3. #3
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    I also would be surprised if they have planning permission to build that!

    looks fun though

  4. #4
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    chitown's Avatar
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    Pretty neat. wonder if the Chicago gov would give a building permit for that?

  5. #5
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    brilliant well done

  6. #6
    Cacoethes scribendi
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    I think it is a great idea. Maybe not so good for Blighty, but in LOS it would only be the matter of a simple bribe to get it going. Uphill work, but it would make a 'nice, fun' project, and an excellent thread.

  7. #7
    Banned Muadib's Avatar
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    Great concept, article & pics...

    This just proves that Hobbits come form Wales...

  8. #8
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    I like it a lot too.

    But another obstacle besides the building permit might be to find a partner who accepts something like this. I am quite sure my wife would declare me crazy.


  9. #9
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    I wonder if it might be too damp in LOS? One of the nice things about the house where I live in the US is that the basement stays extremely cool during even the hottest days of summer. Haven't run across any basements in Thailand yet, at least not in any houses. Is that because of floods or a high water table or something?

    ^Yeah, the wildlife is definitely a consideration. Lots of creepy-crawlies that would enjoy living in a placel like this.

  10. #10
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    ^ I wouldn't want to have a basement in Thailand, too many slithery things to deal with, probably why so many places are built off the ground.

    But the nipper would love to live in this Welsh Hobbit hole

  11. #11
    I am in Jail
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    Quote Originally Posted by killerbees
    You are looking at pictures of a house I built for our family in Wales.
    CMN will be happy to know that,

  12. #12
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    This should be a good challenge for the next design competition#3.
    A hobbitt house in LOS...

  13. #13
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    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.
    Brilliant little house, he makes it sound so easy. I think Thailand would be too damp, but ideal for cooler/drier climates.

  14. #14
    Member Cenovis's Avatar
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    There is a swiss architect that did build some earth houses. Energy saving but not as cheap as the one the op was mentioning Vetsch Architektur

    Link is in German, however would be the perfect house here in Pattaya. Many Guys look like Neanderthaler anyway, shirtless and hairy. Now they just have to tell there squizze of the moment why they call her Wilma....

  15. #15
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    Thermites Are Gone Like It

  16. #16
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    Nice place..

    I have a family friend who is more than a touch mad and lives in the mountains in ireland, wears (all year round) nothing but a kilt, grows his veggies and weed and hunts amilmals, and lives a very different life than I could imagine.

    For year he lived in a teepee / yurt type deal but used local stone to build himself this (apologies the pics are poor, scans of pics)..



    Its kind of one and a half stories high, solid thick stone walling, all with the local stone cleared from the site, all wood interior, Etc etc



    Not sure how his plumbing arrangements got attempted, only seen the pics as I havent been back in years.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by killerbees
    I wonder if it might be too damp in LOS?
    Depending on the build site Bees.

    Most people think Thailand is a wet, damp country and that isn't soo. I have built houses on reclaimed Paddy fields and others on rock but I love this idea and if you prepared the walls and roof with proper drainage and insulation this Hobbit House concept is brilliant.

    A great thread mate!

  18. #18
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    What a dream house - If only I was 3 foot tall

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