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A Real Life Hobbit Hole

woodland-home.jpgCheck out these digs. This family made their own low environmental impact home in Wales out of natural materials. They went from breaking ground to moving in over a period of 4 months and the main tools used were a "chainsaw, hammer and 1 inch chisel." They estimate it took about 1500 man hours and £3000.

From their website...

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.


THAT... is just brilliant...

Compost toilet? It looks very nice, but I'd have to pass on that bit, I think. It's very impressive, though. Nice looking, very serviceable. Can't help thinking how cool it would be to build one of these near the base of a tree and incorporate a tree house as your upper story...

That is so clever--and pretty. I think I'd splurge on new wires, though! I like the skylights--we have just one, in the bathroom, but, at least now in the summer, it keeps the whole room bright until the last, oh, hour or so of the day. I never have to turn on the light in there--I found myself wishing yesterday that we had them in every room

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