This article is co-written by our guest blogger Joshua S. Hill, from My Writing Voice and Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend. We continue the "ecologically clean living" theme, started in the previous post "Alternative Energy Mega Projects". Today we address projects on a much smaller scale - like designing a house
"A Low Impact Woodland Home" by Simon Dale
Now I had originally intended to take you on a tour through all the wonderful ecologically-clean houses that exist in our wonderful world, but it turns out that as a group, those who tend towards these houses apparently disdain the creation of a decent website, and even further hate actual content. So I am grateful for Simon Dale, the man behind "A Low Impact Woodland Home", who's provided me with great photos, and has a fantastic website.
Simon, with his wife, father in law and two young children spent 4 months building what they have termed a low impact woodland home, which is now their family home. An estimated 1000-1500 man hours and £3000 were put in to what is, in my opinion, a dream home.
Simon, who is more than willing to tote the fact that he is in no way an architect or certified builder, believes that a house of this scale is within the reach of any able-bodied person.
The house, which was built with a maximum regard for the environment around it, is dug soundly into the hill around it. The idea of earth sheltering for housing is not a new idea either, and is more than just a "nifty hippie" way to help the environment; it also helps your bank account. When built into the ground, such a house will retain heat in the winter, and be very cool in the summer.
The dirt from the diggings into the hill provided the basis for the foundations and retaining walls, and a mud and turf, when combined with a plastic sheet, makes for the perfect roof.
Wood from the surrounding woodland provides not only heat but also wood for the frame of the house.
Seeing the houses like these gives me hope that - given the right amount of money - I’ll soon be living in my very own ecologically friendly home. Just as long as I have my computer, a light for my reading, and the internet, I should be happy.
Other nature-friendly designs around the world
An interesting Asian take on eco-friendly house design is the "Tree House" (though neighbors call it "Crazy House") - owned by the daughter of the ex-president of Vietnam:
"Spirit Sphere" Tree-Houses, Vancouver Island Rainforest
This is an absolutely marvelous idea: a bare minimum of living space, surrounded by the grand majesty of the forest - a 9 foot sphere with a comfortable bed, kitchen and most modern amenities, including high-speed internet connection. "Living like Ewoks" turns out to be quite popular among many refugees from urban stress and corporate culture, who purchase these pre-manufactured homes from Tom Chudleigh, the owner of "Free Spirit Spheres". The small company lists their address in Qualicum, Vancouver island, but then they add that they recently moved somewhere into the forest... "new location is out of cell phone range. The trees are better though."
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