Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Simon and Jasmine's Roundhouse

These are some pictures of Simon and Jasmine's roundhouse just up the hill from Nigel and Cassie's plot. They have managed to get much further on with their work and actually moved in just the day before I left Lammas. As you can see, it is very low-impact visually and looks part of the hill rather than something that has just been stuck there. It's at least the fourth roundhouse that Simon has built, check out Simon's own site for some amazing photos and more about his work and philosophy.

Even half built the house feels peaceful, sheltering and dry. It will have a secondary wall of windows to the South which should combine with the earth-thermal mass to give it good Earthship style passive solar heating as well as being a green house. There aren't many straight lines in the building, it's all curved beams and rounded surfaces. The walls are made up of straw bales sitting on a low stone wall. There are more straw bales in the roof underneath the turf top layer and protected by a rubber pond liner membrane. It's all very do-able at a self-build level particularly with neighbours and volunteers at hand who can give you a help at critical stages like putting up the roof beams. It also lets you let rip with your creativity if you want or you can just keep it very simple.

Simon is a master of making something out of nothing and working with a low budget. He got all his double glazed window units just for collection - frame making firms just throw away units that have been measured incorrectly. In fact, he reckons all the materials for this house will have cost less than £3,000. As he says on his site, anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere (windows, burner, plumbing, wiring...)

From the North there won't be much to see of the house at all.

Lovely spirals and curves of the roof timbers.

Simon has built a mass of stone around the flue from the stove to help to retain the heat from the fire in th building.

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