The Lord of the Rings has a lot to answer for
From the page: This building is one part of a low-impact or permaculture approach to life. This sort of life is about living in harmony with both the natural world and ourselves, doing things simply and using appropriate levels of technology. These sort of low cost, natural buildings have a place not only in their own sustainability, but also in their potential to provide affordable housing which allows people access to land and the opportunity to lead more simple, sustainable lives. For example this house was made to house our family whilst we worked in the woodland surrounding the house doing ecological woodland management and setting up a forest garden, things that would have been impossible had we had to pay a regular rent or mortgage.
Some key points of the design and construction:
* Dug into hillside for low visual impact and shelter
* Stone and mud from diggings used for retaining walls, foundations etc.
* Frame of oak thinnings (spare wood) from surrounding woodland
* Reciprocal roof rafters are structurally and aesthaetically fantastic and very easy to do
* Straw bales in floor, walls and roof for super-insulation and easy building
* Plastic sheet and mud/turf roof for low impact and ease
* Lime plaster on walls is breathable and low energy to manufacture (compared to cement)
* Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings
* Anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere (windows, burner, plumbing, wiring...)
* Woodburner for heating - renewable and locally plentiful
* Flue goes through big stone/plaster lump to retain and slowly release heat
* Fridge is cooled by air coming underground through foundations
* Skylight in roof lets in natural feeling light
* Solar panels for lighting, music and computing
* Water by gravity from nearby spring
* Compost toilet
* Roof water collects in pond for garden etc.
This is really neat. I live in the US otherwise I might buy a share in the new village.
From the page: "We would like to invite you to become involved in the exciting Lammas project which we are part of.
This autumn we will, with eight other families and individuals, buy a plot of land in Pembrokeshire, SW Wales. It is be part of what will be Wales' first self build eco-village. Each family will buy a 5 acre plot for the first phase of the village. We will have planning permission to build on the plot under Pembrokeshire's new planning guidance for low impact development which ties us to strict environmental best practice and working the land for our basic livelihood. This opportunity to live simply and with ecological integrity is unprecidented under British planning law.
This very exciting planning opportunity is open throughout the county to anyone. It is also not too late to join the second phase of the eco-village with plots will be up for grabs in 2-5 years time.
We invite you to get involved in this exciting project in the following two ways:..."
"...by investing or...Getting your hands dirty - Do you fancy making your own home along these lines but want to have a bit of hands on experience. We would like to invite you to join us in our future building projects. Come along, you give us a hand and we'll teach you some methods and tricks for design and construction in the low impact, permaculture style. Not to mention plenty of good food and good fun. In addition to building there will be similar opportunites to help us setting up permaculture gardens and forest gardens and to learn about many other aspects of self-sufficient living. There will also be opportunities to get involved with other plots and communal facilities of the village including sustainable woodland management, renewable power systems, aquaculture and the village hub building."
truly fascinating :D