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Posts Tagged ‘tiny house’

$300 Forest House (click to enlarge)

$300 Forest House (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 256 sq. ft. 16’x16’ one room house plus 4’ wrap-around porch, Footprint: 24′x24′

Description: Do you dream of having a small place in the woods that can be built practically for free? The Forest House with its striking pyramid roof is made almost entirely of natural products that are readily available in tropical forests – wood poles, bamboo and thatch. Recycled doors, cabinets, sink, composting toilet, solar shower and other materials, plus building on a hillside keep costs to a minimum. Consider leasing the land or work-trade agreement. Features include steeply pitched roof to shed rain, open ceiling to improve ventilation, built-in desk, retractable plank and metal barriers on each post to deter pests. Options include under-bed storage, mosquito bed net, split bamboo (shown) or bamboo matt, split bamboo or wood plank floors, rustic curved wood railings. Building permit not required. High speed Internet not included.

$300 Forest House floorplan (click to enlarge)

$300 Forest House floorplan (click to enlarge)

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Disaster-resistant hemispheric dome made with double ferrocement shells with insulating fill (click to enlarge)

Disaster-resistant hemispheric dome made with double ferrocement shells with insulating fill (click to enlarge)


This 20′ interior diameter, 314 sq. ft. design is my proposed solution for houses that need to withstand repeat hurricanes. See How to Build the Strongest Buildings That Can Last Centuries for more details. Features include: lexan windows with removable window and door shutters, monolithic geopolymer slab floor that’s integrated with the walls, build on high ground, plastic mesh that won’t rust, geopolymer plaster both sides, geopolymer pumicecrete or geopolymer perlite fill. Integrating the slab and dome and building on a rubble trench is ideal for seismic zones. In an earthquake, the building would slide back and forth somewhat like an upside down cereal bowl on a kitchen table (meaning the whole house remains intact as one shell).

The design will have to be tweaked for individual homeowner needs, and some details worked out with the engineer. Note how a woodstove is shown to reach a wider audience, even though it’s probably not needed in Florida. The woodstove could be replaced with an emergency water storage and filtration system, etc. A fold-out bed saves space. Please email me and we’ll work out the details to fit your needs.

Disaster-resistant hemispheric dome made with double ferrocement shells with insulating fill (click to enlarge)

Disaster-resistant hemispheric dome made with double ferrocement shells with insulating fill (click to enlarge)

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Roundhouse with Siberian Chum Roof (click to enlarge)

Roundhouse with Siberian Chum Roof (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 16′ interior diameter with 201 sq. ft. interior, sleeping loft, half bath, Footprint: 19′ x 19′

Description: Here’s a compact design ideal for extremely cold climates. The basic concept comes from the Siberian Chum (tent). There are two chum roofs or conical shaped roofs made of poles with insulation between. Virtually all materials are made from small diameter wood poles, which are often abundant in northern forests – roof poles, bond beam, lintels, loft joists, wood shakes and woodchip insulation. Tilt-down stairs lead to a sleeping loft. Only a very small wood stove is needed for heating. It would be quite easy to build debt-free by gradually adding extra roundhouses as time and resources allow. A small cluster of these roundhouses would be real cozy.

Roundhouse with Siberian Chum Roof (click to enlarge)

Roundhouse with Siberian Chum Roof (click to enlarge)

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Earthbag Lodge (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 800 sq. ft. interior, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 40′ x 40′

Description: Based on ancient Native American designs, this earth lodge with living roof will keep you cozy and warm even in the harshest climates, because it is compact, earth-sheltered, insulated and uses wood heat. South-facing windows and skylight over the kitchen ensure ample daylighting. It can be built for about $2,000 assuming wood poles are gathered locally.

Building basics: This hexagonal structure consists of earthbag walls, about head high, and a wood framed wall on the south. Six large center poles with timber beams support sloping roof poles and living roof. To reduce risk of moisture problems, it’s best to build above grade and add earth on top of the structure rather than digging below grade.

Earthbag Lodge (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge (click to enlarge)

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Natural House (click to enlarge)

Natural House (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 287 sq. ft. interior plus 287 sq. ft. loft, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 16′ x 30′

Description: Here’s a dirt-cheap energy-efficient design that’s simple to build. This is a good starter project. Features include a loft for sleeping and office space, and south-facing windows for excellent solar gain and daylighting. Earth berming and simple curves helps the Natural House blend into its environment.

Natural House (click to enlarge)

Natural House (click to enlarge)

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Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)

Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 740 sq. ft. interior, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 31′ x 40′ plus buttresses and covered porch

Description: Spiral 2 is a variation of my first spiral house — Spiral Earthbag House. This unique, almost Hobbit-like earth-sheltered spiral design includes a large grow bed, exposed timber ceiling and living roof. Ample light is provided by the window wall next to the grow bed, window and door glazing, and suntubes. Distinguishing features include two bedrooms, masonry two-way fireplace, covered porch and cool pantry for storage of food (no electricity required for refrigeration). An alternate roof plan is available for building with TJIs where wood poles are not available. There’s even a door planned in for future expansion. This home meets zero energy standards, and is now one of my favorite.

Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)

Spiral 2 Earthbag House (click to enlarge)

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Tinyville Earthbag Domes (click to enlarge)

Tinyville Earthbag Domes (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 133 sq. ft. interior main dome, 38 sq. ft. loft, 78 sq. ft. small dome, plus 8 sq. ft. vault, 257 sq. ft. interior total, Footprint: 16′ x 29′ plus benches

Description: Like other tiny houses, Tinyville provides just the basics in a compact space. It is intended as a starter house for those with little or no building experience and very little money. This design joins a 13′ interior diameter main dome with loft and a 10′ interior diameter small dome, with a vaulted passageway.

Tinyville Earthbag Domes (click to enlarge)

Tinyville Earthbag Domes (click to enlarge)

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