Natural Building (117)

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Nonagan Yurt Treehouse



I spent the weekend at Mountain View Air B&B building a canted-wall nonagon yurt treehouse! I worked with SunRay Kelley, Bonnie, Bob-O, and Tyler Smith. This was such a fun project. I spent one weekend helping assemble the walls for the kit; SunRay and his team did the rest during the week; and last weekend, we built the platform and erected the nonagon yurt.

–Travis Skinner

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Learn to Timber Frame Book Review

Will Beemer of The Heartwood School for the Homebuilding Crafts was kind enough to send us this amazing book on learning to build using the timber framing technique. I have always been amazed by this particular process of framing, watched a ton of YouTube videos on builds using this technique, but never really understood the process fully.

I now know about wood selection, the tools needed, layout and cutting, framing, sills, joists, braces, etc. This book gave me a great starting point for using timber frame building techniques. Thank you so much Will! Can’t wait to start a project!

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Jeffrey's Straw Bale House

Hey there!

Well, it’s happened twice now. Just as you publish a book on a subject, I finish a project that might have sat nicely in your book!

First one was my tiny home dome, released just after your book Tiny Homes

Then coincidently I purchased and moved onto my 38 ft. narrowboat just as you released Tiny Homes on the Move

Now. I have just finished creating this 40m2 / 430 sq. ft. straw bale house with my new company, Hartwyn. The building is named Ty Twt — Welsh for “small home.”

It was an interesting project, where we offered the entire build as a training program. We took a group of mixed-skill interns through the entire building process in 12 weeks.

We used local straw, dug our site clay for plasters, and the timber was (mostly) all milled locally. It boasts a green roof, composting toilet, tadelakt shower (Moroccan lime plaster), and greywater system.

I have attached some pictures, and have high-res ones if you would like. But all of the information is on our site with a nifty little time-lapse of the whole process!

Hope this is of some interest!

–Jeffrey


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Cob House Wrapped in a Geodesic Dome in the Arctic Circle

Life inside the Arctic Circle is by no means easy, unless you’re a Hjertefølger. We first heard about Benjamin and Ingrid Hjertefølger four years ago when they began building Nature House, a three-story cob house wrapped in a solar geodesic dome. Located on the island of Sandhornøyna in northern Norway, the ultra-green home was designed to enable the family of six to eek out a sustainable existence despite challenging climatic conditions — they even grow most of their own food. Inhabitat recently caught up with the Hjertefølgers, who have now lived in their home for three years, to learn about their challenges and victories.

The Hjertefølgers, which translates to Heartfollowers, live in Nature House with their four children — they’ve added one to their number since Inhabitat last wrote about them. After constructing their cob home topped with one of Solardome’s single-glazed geodesic domes with the help of friends and neighbors, the family moved in on December 8, 2013.

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Roundhouse Living in Wales

While not included in the print edition of Small Homes, this spread will be included in the ebook edition, and links to a very readable PDF.

Hi folks. I live in West Wales, UK, with my partner Faith in a roundhouse I designed and we built in 1997. It is about 85m2, (850 sq. ft.) in size. It cost £3,000 ($4,500) to make initially, and we have spent another £1000 or so on it in the 18 years we have been living here.

It is based on the type of roundwood frame and turf-roofed houses used by Celtic, Mandan, Miwok, and Pomo peoples, plus some modern things thrown in, like windscreen and double-glazed windows, wood stove, running water (hot and cold), solar PVs on the roof, and a wooden plank floor. We are off grid.

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Builder on the Move

My partner and I restored an old bread oven in northern Drôme, France, that was damaged by the rain and the time, extended it to make a small bedroom for a guesthouse. The idea was to create a room for lovers, close to the woods and far from the road.

The special design with bottles is inspired from the wind and a feather because the guest house is called the Feathers Inn. Most of the building materials were repurposed (tiles, bottles, door, wood), or found on site (earth, stones).

The design is inspired by the local style of building with stones on the base and earth on the top, but adapted with a contemporary touch.

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Jan's Cabin

“As I was finishing it, nailing the last shake on the roof, a surveyor came along.” Bad news: The building was completely on his neighbors’ land. What else to do but move it? He jacked up the building, slid four logs underneath, put axle grease on them, and with a come-along, a 5-wheel block and tackle, and 1″ steel cable, skidded the building up onto the logs, onto four other logs and then onto the repositioned original logs, a distance of 70 feet onto his own property.

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