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HNC Earthbag House

HNC Earthbag House (click to enlarge)

HNC Earthbag House (click to enlarge)


“The Haitian National Congress (HNC) asked me to conduct training next May for bright and eager Haitian adult citizens who want to become entrepreneurs, nudge their country more toward functional democracy, learn problem solving skills and learn free enterprise practices that will increase their personal income. These trainees will then return to each of Haiti’s 10 departments to teach others about developing cottage businesses, managing money, establishing new markets, increasing vegetable production and more.

Haiti needs more housing stock. For the individual Haitian, owning a home and building equity in it is a way to better oneself financially. HNC is working with folks who have minimal income. HNC encourages them to build wealth which helps the country build a stronger economy. That leads to more jobs, more children getting educated, better health care, etc. To have value in the housing market, they need a house that is modern (plumbing and electricity), durable (earthquake and hurricane resistant) and of course, affordable. With a modern and durable house as collateral you can borrow money to start a small business. Lack of access to capital is a major barrier in the third world to individuals lifting themselves out of poverty. Earthbag houses are perfect. Hands on learning how to build an earthbag house will be an important part of the HNC training. The trainees will learn, and they will in turn train others in earthbag building. Modifications can be made in the field in response to local feedback.

Dr. Owen Geiger took my basic ideas, enhanced them greatly and developed an attractive plan. It is a durable and leak proof ‘core house’ with a multipurpose room (kitchen and living room), bathroom and bedroom. There is a covered, raised, and railed front porch for Haitian style outdoor living and for social gathering. Also, Dr. Geiger designed the walls a bit higher than 8’, dropped the ceiling slightly and put two ladder accessible lofts above. There are covered porches around the entire house that can serve as outdoor cooking, food preparation and work areas. They can also be easily converted into additional rooms. HNC and I are happy with this earthbag house plan that offers so much flexibility. The owners will have several options for sleeping, storage and work areas. While the disaster resistant core house remains the same, the lofts and porches allow each family to set up the house just the way they like it in order to meet their specific needs.”

HNC Earthbag House floorplan (click to enlarge)

HNC Earthbag House floorplan (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 288 sq. ft. interior, 274 sq. ft. loft, one bedroom, one bath, covered porch area: 903 sq. ft., footprint: 31’x43’

Source: Dr. Jerry Epps Teach Democracy
HNC House website with free plans coming soon

Two Roundhouses with Greenhouse earthbag house design (click to enlarge)

Two Roundhouses with Greenhouse earthbag house design (click to enlarge)

This is my second plan that’s designed specifically for building roundhouses in stages. As I stated in a previous blog post, I think building roundhouses like this is the simplest, easiest way to build an earthbag home: build in stages, one roundhouse at a time so you can pay with cash and move in right away. It’s far easier to start small and add on later than jump right into building a large home that could take months or even years. Please note, this design illustrates just one of many possible ways to build in stages with an added greenhouse. Many of my clients come up with their own design, often by combining various plans and options of mine. So have fun. Make a simple sketch and send to me at naturalhouses [AT] gmail.com for a free estimate. One easy way to do this is to print the plans from my website and cut out the parts you’re interested in. Rearrange the parts as you wish, glue them to another piece of paper, and draw any remaining parts by hand. Write notes on your sketch if needed. Scan and save as a jpeg file and email to me. This could also be a fun school project and good way to learn about designing houses.

Two Roundhouses with Greenhouse floorplan (click to enlarge)

Two Roundhouses with Greenhouse floorplan (click to enlarge)

This unique design combines: – Hobbit House: 471 sq. ft. interior, optional 471 sq. ft. loft, one bedroom, one bath, Footprint: 28′-6″ diameter – Roundhouse Studio (master bedroom in this design): 177 sq. ft. interior, fold-out bed, 1 bath, Footprint: 18′ diameter, plus buttress – Greenhouse for year-round food production: 70 sq. ft. interior Total: 718 sq. ft. interior, Footprint: 38 x 52 ft. Related: Three Roundhouses Design

Free Economizer Earthbag House Plan (click to enlarge)

Free Economizer Earthbag House Plan (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 448 sq. ft. interior, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 19′ x 31′

Description: This plan is designed to be compact and efficient. Most houses this size do not have as many features — washer/dryer, wood stove, and modern kitchen and bath. There are even two closets. An archway separates the bedroom from the main living area, yet maintains a sense of privacy with a room divider. Note: this plan is listed in the free shelter category.

Free Economizer Earthbag House Floorplan (click to enlarge)

Free Economizer Earthbag House Floorplan (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge with Domes (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge with Domes (click to enlarge)


Earthbag Lodge with Domes (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge with Domes (click to enlarge)


Specifications: Lodge = 800 sq. ft. interior, 19’ interior DIA master bedroom dome plus loft = 452 sq. ft., two 16’ interior DIA bedrooms plus lofts = 600 sq. ft., one 16’ interior DIA bath/mechanical dome = 201 sq. ft., two baths, total = 2,053 sq. ft., Footprint: 62′ x 66′

Description: A first of its kind earthbag home that captures the timeless and magical appeal of earth sheltering in the round. Based on ancient Native American designs, this modern earth lodge with living roof will keep you cozy and warm even in the harshest climates, because it is compact, earth-sheltered and superinsulated. Heating options include wood heating and/or radiant floor heat. The lodge ceiling is exposed wood poles. South and east-facing windows and skylight over the kitchen ensure ample daylighting in the lodge. Mechanical and bedroom domes are attached with earthbag vaults.

Earthbag Lodge with Domes floorplan (click to enlarge)

Earthbag Lodge with Domes floorplan (click to enlarge)

Torus Design with E-Cat cold fusion energy generator (click to enlarge)

Torus Design with E-Cat cold fusion energy generator (click to enlarge)


Torus Design floorplan (click to enlarge)

Torus Design floorplan (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 2,224 sq. ft. interior, 564 sq. ft. greenhouses, 1,520 sq. ft. courtyard, each side has two bedrooms, two baths, Footprint: 74’ diameter not including 8.5’ wide greenhouse

Description: The Torus Design is the first home to my knowledge that is specifically designed to utilize cold fusion generation. When LENR reactors come on the market (hopefully next year), they could be coupled with a micro-CHP cogenerator to produce both heat (radiant floor heat, in this case) and electrical power. The house concept was inspired by the movie Thrive, which outlines ways of creating prosperity and equality in the world. Lack of energy is at the heart of many of the world’s problems. Clean, affordable, sustainable energy would likely raise the standard of living for mankind by helping to alleviate poverty, hunger, lack of clean water and more.

The Torus Design brings together three emerging trends: increasing self sufficiency — including renewable energy and food production, families moving back together to save money, and sustainability. These trends are evident in the growth of home gardens, organic food, green building, eco-conciousness, off-grid homes, do-it-yourself attitudes, and cost cutting strategies such as bartering and trading for goods and services.

The current version could be used as a duplex (rent the other half to slash your bills). You could split costs with a friend or family member and share the courtyard. A lot of people can no longer afford their own home, so this design offers a potential solution for families to move in together. The design could be customized for large families.

Options not shown: cisterns on the exterior and courtyard, underground Earthbag Survival Shelter with optional escape tunnel, Cool Pantry, rainwater barrels, food forest surrounding the home.

Thrive movie (also on YouTube or at least it was for a while)
Plans can be ordered through DreamGreenHomes.com (The Torus Design should be posted there shortly.)

Three Roundhouses Design (click to enlarge)

Three Roundhouses Design (click to enlarge)


This plan illustrates what I think is the simplest, easiest way to build an earthbag home: build in stages, one roundhouse at a time so you can pay with cash and move in right away. It’s far easier to start small and add on later than jump right into building a large home that could take months or even years. I’ve talked about this a lot on our blog, but this is my first plan designed specifically for building in stages. This is becoming one of my favorites. What do you think?

The Three Roundhouses design combines:
Hobbit House (starter house in this design): 471 sq. ft. interior, optional 471 sq. ft. loft, one bedroom, one bath, Footprint: 27′-6″ diameter
Roundhouse Studio (master bedroom in this design): 177 sq. ft. interior, fold-out bed, 1 bath, Footprint: 18′ diameter, plus buttress
33’ (10m) Roundhouse: 855 sq. ft. interior, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 36′ diameter
Total living space: 1,503 sq. ft. interior

Three Roundhouses Design (click to enlarge)

Three Roundhouses Design (click to enlarge)


Related:
The Most Bang for the Buck? Part 1
What’s the Easiest Shape to Build?

Disaster Resistant Catenary Dome (click to enlarge)

Disaster Resistant Catenary Dome (click to enlarge)


Specifications: 314 sq. ft. interior, 181 sq. ft. interior loft, total = 495 sq. ft. interior, Footprint: 23’ diameter

Description: Catenary arches and domes are among the strongest forms in nature. This catenary dome is designed to withstand repeat hurricanes and other natural disasters. It is similar in construction to the Hemispheric Dome, but the Catenary Dome has a sleeping loft. Tilt-down stairs are shown, although you could make a single bathroom door and add a ladder to one side. This would give you more space in the loft.

Disaster Resistant Catenary Dome (click to enlarge)

Disaster Resistant Catenary Dome (click to enlarge)


More information is on our Earthbag Building Blog.