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Hand-Build an Earth Sheltered House For $5,000

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posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 01:58 PM

Hand-Build an Earth Sheltered House For $5,000

Cash, that most basic element of our economy, can be in abysmally short supply for new young families scraping by on marginal jobs.

Sustainable housebuilding may not be foremost in their minds.

But one young couple in Wales managing on an annual income of just $10,000 went ahead and built their own cheap home anyway sustainably, mostly out of materials from “a rubbish pile somewhere.”

Sustainable design and construction:

1. Dug into hillside for low visual impact and shelter
2. Stone and mud from diggings used for retaining walls, foundations etc.
3. Frame constructed of fallen trees from surrounding woodland
4. Reciprocal roof rafters are structurally very easy to do
5. Straw bales in floor, walls and roof for super-insulation and easy building
6. Plastic sheet and mud/turf roof for low impact and ease
7. Lime plaster on walls is breathable and low energy to manufacture compared to cement
8. Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings
9. Other items were reclaimed from “a rubbish pile somewhere”: windows, wiring, plumbing

There are just a couple of solar panels - just enough for for lighting, music and computing. It’s a simple life. A skylight in the roof lets in enough natural feeling light, and water is fed by gravity downhill from a nearby spring. There’s a compost toilet. Roof water collects in a pond for gardening.

(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 3-12-2008 by grover]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 01:58 PM
Shades of Hobbiton Gandalf!!! It looks like Bilbo's place.

There is reportedly a whole village in Wales like this that I read about recently.

Apparently it is so off the grid that the authorities had actually lost it until it was "rediscovered" via aerial photos. I will try and find an article on it... though I think a thread was active on it a while back.

Anyway this looks SSSOOOOOO Mother Earth News but still it works and that is the important thing.

I would think that the easiest thing would be to build a couple connected geodesic domes, and grow a sod roof on them.

Sometimes low tech is far more satisfying than high tech will ever be.
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 3-12-2008 by grover]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 02:05 PM
Found a link to an article on the "lost" village.

And here is the ATS thread link.

[edit on 3-12-2008 by grover]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 02:10 PM
Very cool. I always love hearing about peoples ingenuity. Flag and a star for the post! Now I'm thinking about adding on to the house!

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 02:14 PM
Thats cool. Seems sincere.

I saw, on 20/20 I think, this group in Arizona manufacturing Earth Ships, I think they were called. Started out as an inexpensive, self contained, recycled and non-destructive home building group then quickly became a trendy "drop 300K on some mud and tires" fad for guilt-ridden yuppies.

Getting off the grid for cheap is always a plus.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 02:28 PM

Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Getting off the grid for cheap is always a plus.

Everything considered, getting off the grid voluntarily might be the smartest move one could make...before it becomes involuntary

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 02:38 PM

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 02:43 PM
Does someone please want to extend me a sub-prime mortgage for one of these?

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:02 PM
There is NO WAY I would use straw as insulation, there is a good reason that insulation is fire retardant. I've also seen what happens to sheets of plastic that are exposed to the elements over the years.

I'm sure better, equally cost effective alternatives could be found for those two things, but other than that I like the idea of cost effective, sustainable housing construction.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:07 PM
Here in America, I would have to buy permits that would equal to 5,000 - 10,000. Doesn't exsist except out in the Desert with the Coyotes.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:15 PM
reply to post by maus80

Recycled tires filled with sand is what they use for the Earth Houses.

I want one too!!!

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 04:20 PM
A fine example of using materials other than from the lumber yard and through some realator scheme.

Much of the techiques used in that home can be used for building a shelter in a survival situation.

Sand is an excellent insulating material. As is mud. Alot of nature's materials in just about any environment, even a barren desert, can one build a shelter.

It just takes a little imagination and a little bit of work.


posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 05:24 PM
An underground house has a lot going for it. Here are some old, free plans for FEMA bomb shelters (some underground, some above ground).

Something like this may come in handy (perhaps life saving) in the near term future.

[edit on 12/3/2008 by anonymousATS]

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 06:01 PM
Great find Grover.

Using non-flammable substitutes (as stated above) really makes this the thing to do. Excellent!

As also pointed out by my fellow Californian, doing this here where I live would cost thousands at least for zoning and permits and the years to process them.

Sheez, if they saw me doing this here...pulling off the grid so publicly...I'd be destroyed. Not sure how, but I would bet the FTB (Franchise Tax Board) would somehow be leading the charge.


posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 06:11 PM
There is a whole community of "earthships" north of me.

My little adobe is very efficient with just a lot of south facing windows.

Here in the Land of Enchantment, you can receive tax breaks for building an energy efficient home and permits aren't any more difficult to obtain than for a frame constructed house.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 06:27 PM
This design is so adorable. I would go with the above posts and use sand and perhaps some of these earthship type tire building. I would hate to have to go through the city for permits for something like this.

If nothing else it could be used for something such as a root cellar to store food. Our county is kinda lax so they would probably approve a use for something like that.

Excellent post Grover!

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 06:37 PM
Ill continue living in my concrete house for the moment thank you very much.
Not that im against living in a hill par-se but im not a mole and id prefer if my kids didnt grow up underground!
I bet they never thought what this is gonna do to there child! he/she is gonna have it so rough in school its not even funny.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 06:48 PM
Dennis Weaver's earthship in 1990, up in CO, made all the rage for this type of thing.

i guess because the buckminister fuller geodesic domes got too hippyish

i'm pagan, so all those tires & aluminum cans would really cause me psyche distress... but the thought of ecohomes is a slight bit better than the McMansions a lot of us detest already

thanks for the post

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 07:01 PM

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 07:12 PM
Won't you get ass-whooped for not following government regulations?

And yeh, very creative, reminds me of the Hobbits and fables.

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