Here is another inspiring story for you. Simon Dale built an adorable house (that also happens to be the one that inspired the roof fascia/trim on Ryan’s cob house) in Wales. This little earth bermed house has a few interesting aspects. First of all it has a reciprocal, living roof insulated with straw! And they have some good info on how to build a reciprocal roofs that even includes some formula’s for calculating gradient, height, and other features. I am finding that these roofs also don’t have to be perfect circles or even symmetrical shapes, just roughly conical it seems. And the more I look the more I am convinced that the reciprocal roof structure may indeed be the way to go for simplicity, strength, and beauty. Secondly, this structure uses straw bale insulation in the walls and floor as well- something I have not come across in an earth bermed structure. The finished product is quite beautiful and appeals to my tastes. I would definitely recommend visiting their site and looking at some of the pictures. Also, their family story is quite cute and fun to read. Dale built this house in just four months with help from his father while his wife camped out and looked after their two kids! As the wife reminds us, this may sound crazy to some but kids love playing in the dirt and exploring the outdoors. Here is one quote from their family story that I particularly liked:
“Feeling impotent in the face of environmental and social problems is overcome more easily than we imagine by forming clear intentions of our ideals. Realising them is not always simple, but in our experience more fulfilling than business as usual.”
Definitely worth checking out if you ask me. Below is a picture of the family and their home from the outside, taken from their website. There are many more cool pictures on their site of both the inside and outside, the plans, and the construction process!