Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The permitted house plan !

I was drawn to Owens' U-shaped-house when I first started looking seriously at an earthbag house.  We liked it so much that we bought the plan.  It turns out that we will not use it for our build this time because it simply will not fit in the space we have to work with.  We did not want to take out any of the pinion pine here.  The Pinion pine produce a cash crop and we can use it for barter as well.

So here is the current working plan for our round house with an integrated solar green house.  I have the building permit in hand!  The bulk of the exterior wall will consist of scoria.  The interior greenhouse wall will be built with road base.  This thermal mass will help moderate daily temperature swings during cold weather.

The entry faces East.  This plan, is subject to change before the shallow frost proof foundation is dug.

The drawing is not to scale and was created with DraftSight from Dassault Systèmes.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

In the beginning ~~~

Greetings! I go by the moniker of "momlobo" and am the other party involved in this home construction and, by default, blog.

4/16 - The house is designed by us and changes occur frequently. Last night we talked about relocating the rooms where plumbing is needed to be along the 'side' closest to the well and septic system. The county dudes want a map of all those kind of pipes in the house, as well as a map of interior and exterior electric stuff. This is really about the max interference we should see from the county controllers (engineer, Boards of This and That). 2 good reasons he chose this county rather than any other in Colorado. Did I say it's going to be a round house? 32' diameter. yep.

4/18 - We decided on a round house for a number of reasons. 1) Having stayed in a 20' yurt for a 3-day weekend, with the black Lab, we decided the concept was "workable". 2) We researched and found that round buildings of all sizes are WAY safer than any traditional, square, stick-built building. 3) They have been used successfully by native people all over the world since forever, I guess. Think of the grass huts in Africa and SE Asia, the yurts of course in Mongolia & etc., the teepees used by the nomadic tribes of the American plains not so very long ago.The specific floor plan type of details are undecided right now.

I nixed the yurt that he really wanted due to concerns about the possibility of forest fires in our area. There are also black bears seen every year, which would certainly be happy to invite themselves into your yurt for supper. And breakfast and lunch, too!

So we are going with "earthbags". If you've see folks on TV shoring up a levee or trying to protect their homes with sandbags - those are the bags we will be using. We just had the fill material delivered to the local stone yard, so we went to see it today: Big pile of dark red volcanic scoria (some 25 T of it!). We looked at each other, pointed at the dirtpile and said, "Our House!"
The filled bags will weigh about 35# each.We will need hundreds and hundreds of them. At 35# each.

Time's a-wastin' while we wait to get the paperwork back from the P & Z commission. Then the rock guys can fix the road to the build site so their truck can haul the scoria out there. They will also do the basic foundation prep w/ the Skid-Steer, much more efficient than us do it w/ a rototiller and rakes, eh? THEN we can start building. Hope it's less than 2 weeks away.

Happy Earthday!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Engineer stamped mounded septic drawing

Now I can submit permits to the county planning folks and hopefully get started building soon.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Building site pictures - click for larger view

Building site looking north
Building site looking south
Building site looking west
Earthbag greenhouse and shed building site
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