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Old 09-12-2008, 06:13 PM   #1
Carol
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Default Hobbit 'Habitat' House

Hobbit House

Pics, text and building plans at link.

http://www.simondale.net/house/index.htm

"You are looking at pictures of our family home in Wales. It was built by myself and my father in law with help from passers by and visiting friends. 4 months after starting we were moved in and cosy. I estimate 1000-1500 man hours and £3000 put in to this point. Not really so much in house buying terms (roughly £60/sq m excluding labour).

The house was built with maximum regard for the environment and by reciprocation gives us a unique opportunity to live close to nature. Being your own (have a go) architect is a lot of fun and allows you to create and enjoy something which is part of yourself and the land rather than, at worst, a mass produced box designed for maximum profit and convenience of the construction industry. Building from natural materials does away with producers profits and the cocktail of carcinogenic poisons that fill most modern buildings."

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.

Main tools used: chainsaw, hammer and 1 inch chisel, little else really. Oh and by the way I am not a builder or carpenter, my experience is only having a go at one similar house 2yrs before and a bit of mucking around inbetween. This kind of building is accessible to anyone. My main relevant skills were being able bodied, having self-belief and perseverence and a mate or two to give a lift now and again.

Last edited by Carol; 09-12-2008 at 08:00 PM. Reason: This house was built by the folks at the link.
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Old 09-12-2008, 06:52 PM   #2
peacelovinman
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

This is where my family and I want to live!! It's our inspiration for a dwelling when we become part of a community.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

That would be my and my wifes dream home and i know we would be ok in that house because we have both got big hairy feet
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

This is, beyond doubt, ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!

One question: Did you have any hassle from "local authorities" about any part of this project? Did you have to get a permit to build?

By comparison, where I live, you have to get a permit to have even a composting toilet! It's regulated to the hilt here. Ugh.
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

Well done. I love it to bits. I have seen these types of houses on the internet and would love to have one.
Well done for your hard work. You must be very pleased.
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Old 09-12-2008, 08:22 PM   #6
robyn
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

Beautiful, I love it!

On a slightly different note, try http://www.calearth.org/

These houses are beehive shape and are legal to build in this area. They are all over the planet now in areas that have had various disasters because they are so easy to build and the materials are not so hard to get. They are very resistant to quakes, floods and high winds, even hurricanes/tornados due to their shape.
"Cal-Earth is at the cutting edge of Earth Art and Ceramic Architecture technologies today. Founded and directed by the internationally renowned architect and author Nader Khalili in 1986, it's scope spans technical innovations published by NASA for lunar base construction, to design and development of housing for the world's homeless for the United Nations. "
They are located in Hesperia, CA and have free tours once a month.
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

these are really inspiring, hobbit~homes and bee~hive villages, what an idyllic way to live!

the design I came up with for a quick temporal dwelling is a series of simple tipi~frames in a circle with beams between the apex. if you are using pine to build with, leave a few inches of the branches on as notches so that more beams can be hung on them as the external walls. an alternate is a larger central tipi surrounded by smaller ones with a round~house roof. the roof obviously is covered with all the cut branches. tarpaulin sheets and fabric can then be hung from them. obviously a pre~requisite is living near a pine forest. this would give a larger more permanent building rather than an elegant tipi which is less difficult construction work than a typical roundhouse since the support beams aren't dug into the ground. its not as sturdy but could possibly be piled with earth up the sides. make sure each tipi~frame can support the swinging weight of two or three people so it will stand a harsh wind.

I recommend you take the shorter pine trees that haven't made it to the forest canopy to build with rather than deforesting, they take fifteen~twenty years to get big enough to make a tipi. plant three new trees for every one you take and a whole bunch more for the oxygen you've used in your time here and you can't go far wrong. most the fruit you eat has seeds to be collected; its all about self~reliance.
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

First, when I was a child the Hobbit entertainde me. And Now, being a Young Adult It will save my life!

Great Book!


hahaha

Cheers!
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Old 09-14-2008, 07:23 AM   #9
MMe M
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

Cool!

Your modest, its a grand accomplishment. Congratulations! Its beautiful.

We cant even begin to build something like that here. The building codes are so stringent they will not consider a wood stove a permanent heat source, we have practically above ground septic systems as per code now that cost upwards of 25 grand and the plumbing and electrical have idiotic items you cannot skip. Every house has to be wrapped in tyvek, another idiocy and I donít think we can build partially in ground for the main living quarters, I could be wrong but they require no less than a 4-12 pitch on the roofs so im guessing not. Makes me a lil angry.
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Old 09-14-2008, 07:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

you guys rock!
thank you very much for the inspiration.
your children are absolutely beautiful!

much love and respect
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:52 AM   #11
linkes
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

love you home looks cozy and homey

is that solar panels on the roof?

How did you get past the council or local municipality?

Peace and blessings
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:20 PM   #12
scanner
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

I've truly been awakend ,thank you for sharing this with us,I've just got to motivate my family and prove I'm not mad
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:25 PM   #13
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

The trouble with houses like that is that your ankles get all hairy and your feet grow so big, you cant get proper shoes.

Seriously, that picture is a picture of heaven.

Each morning when I am doing my manifesting meditation, I imaginge myself in a perfect world - where I am outside a cabin with my wife and being close to nature. Now that I have seen that picture it will probably replace my "cabin".

A..
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:40 PM   #14
Carol
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Thumbs up Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anchor View Post
The trouble with houses like that is that your ankles get all hairy and your feet grow so big, you cant get proper shoes.

Seriously, that picture is a picture of heaven.

Each morning when I am doing my manifesting meditation, I imaginge myself in a perfect world - where I am outside a cabin with my wife and being close to nature. Now that I have seen that picture it will probably replace my "cabin".

A..
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

congratulations!
GREAT HOUSE!

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Old 09-15-2008, 07:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

I had honestly not seen this thread when I registered yesterday.
I live in a very old house, in the shires of course, I am origonally from Yorkshire, but now live in Oxfordshire.
Anone over 5 feet 8 inchs has to a read a sign, it says, Duck or grouse.
As the beams are at that height.

I picked the name hobbit as I am a hobbit, and we have a dragon to kill.
I operate in the invisable, I am a dowser, but no ordinary dowser.
I can detect whatever I think of, and know the measure of the matrix we exist in.
The dragon is greed, corperate greed that will kill all to further it's lust for profit.
We have the advantage though, we have two dragons of our very own, and we will all see them soon with our limited seeing senses.
A pressure is building, raising frequencies to uplift all life, it is pouring in from galatic centre, out of ophiuchus heel

This will be an extremely dangerous time, as well as fantastic.
The control freaks will try everything possible to keep hold of that control they have, they will fail.
But be aware, prepare for SHOCK, it is used to disable, don't let it, don't buy the pictures they paint, they will be fakes, trust in your own rising senses.
We have the power of our minds, that can create whatever we desire, and I desire to live in the shires, and look forward to making the tea for all.
hobbit.

Last edited by hobbit; 09-15-2008 at 07:39 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:52 AM   #17
peacelovinman
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anchor View Post
The trouble with houses like that is that your ankles get all hairy and your feet grow so big, you cant get proper shoes.

Seriously, that picture is a picture of heaven.

Each morning when I am doing my manifesting meditation, I imaginge myself in a perfect world - where I am outside a cabin with my wife and being close to nature. Now that I have seen that picture it will probably replace my "cabin".

A..
And then there's that wizard bloke who keeps popping in for tea and generally making trouble...!?
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:58 PM   #18
Vedel DK
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Smile Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

Hey, this is my first post on this forum, so be gentle.

I just wanted to show you another type of off the grid/eco house called Earthships. Invented by a american guy called Michael Reynolds.

Check it out.


http://www.earthship.net/
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:10 PM   #19
Carol
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vedel DK View Post
Hey, this is my first post on this forum, so be gentle.

I just wanted to show you another type of off the grid/eco house called Earthships. Invented by a american guy called Michael Reynolds.

Check it out.


http://www.earthship.net/
Been there, done that, loved it. We stayed in Taos, New Mexico one winter in one and they really are amazing in cold or hot temps where we learned how to build them. They must have the floor at least 4 feet below the earth which helps maintain the indoor temp in the 70s year round. South wall is full length windows, indoor garden on inside. North , side and inner walls are made of packed earth filled tires and then covered with dirt on back and sides to maintain constant indoor temp. They are designed to be completely self-sufficient where the roof will gather rain water and store it in cistern tanks built at the side ends of the structure.
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:14 AM   #20
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Default Places where it is possible to use Earth-friendly alternatives

I've been researching areas where Earth-friendly building doesn't pose too great a challenge. Ecuador, for instance, uses the mud from the foundation to create adobe bricks in the driveway of the new house. One builder advertises rammed earth. Domes are plentiful. Land is accessible.

Land is very reasonable in Belize, but I couldn't determine the building codes. Also, looks like many areas of Nicaragua and Costa Rica would be hassle-free. Anybody got any specific feedback?

It is possible to build in North Carolina and Georgia, as long as you don't apply for a septic tank or electricity. That's how the PTB contol the people.

Earthaven, a community in Black Mountain, NC, brought in instructors to teach cob, strawbale, and log, and let the students help them build their houses. They also teach permaculture. www.earthaven.org. Quite a successful, long-term community.

One interesting experimenter built a guest house, using a different method for each wall. Since one of the Earthaven Strawbales was musty (it is a temperate rainforest in that area) he wrapped the first two layers of straw in tyvek. That solved the problem.

The second wall was cob. It took four times as long for a DIY to build the cob wall, compared to the others. though it is very easy to do and looks fabulous. It did not offer very good insulation for the cold winters of NC.

The third wall was cordwood. It complimented the rustic cob/strawbale plaster. Easy to build, wood was plentiful on his farm, a good choice for NC.

Fourth wall was a board and batten-style, from lumber milled on-site. More conventional building, there wasn't much to figure out.

The guest cottage had so much character! It was a stunning success, both low-cost and functional.

One family built a Cal-earth dome in South Georgia. It turned into a nightmare of a project. It was too big, took too long to build, and had lots of structural flaws. It seems more time-consuming, expensive (buying the tubes and the barbed wire), and harder to use than cob and strawbale. The red Georgia clay gives amazing colorations to rammed earth. I could imagine a monolithic dome using a clay combination.

AND there are some gorgeous Cal-earth houses that I would love to live in. And Earth-ships. And Hobbit Houses. Why do we settle for gated communities with cookie-cutter boxes? And mountains of debt? Shall we show the rest of the world how it could be done???
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:47 AM   #21
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Default Re: Places where it is possible to use Earth-friendly alternatives

beauty beauty beauty!!! wow, thanks soo much!! everything in this thread is great!!!

You guys/gals are amazing.

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Old 09-18-2008, 04:48 AM   #22
Carol
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

Why do we settle? Do we really have a choice? We are strangled by regulations and it takes years for something new to be tried and proven.

We plan on doing a hobbit house but will say it's our daughter's play house.
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Old 09-19-2008, 03:03 AM   #23
Peace of Mine
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

You've already discovered the way to do it. Of course nobody would say a word about you building your daughter a playhouse! And who would know if you moved into it and rented out your main house? Why not live where you want to live?

Either ignore their silly rules or find ways around them. Don't apply for permits. If you do the work yourself, and why wouldn't you - it's the most satisfying, pleasurable step toward self-sufficiency that you could take - nobody will bother you. Been doing it for years. Never paid a fine yet.
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Old 09-19-2008, 03:58 AM   #24
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

[whines] I want one!!!!
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:15 PM   #25
Carol
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Default Re: Hobbit 'Habitat' House

This is such an excellent article that was posted earlier and also filled with great tips.

Lost middle-class tribe's 'secret' eco-village in Wales spotted in aerial photograph taken by plane

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ken-plane.html








The original 180-acre farm was divided up into the area around the farm, a section around the original roundhouse known as Tir Ysbrydol (Spirit Land) where Mrs Orbach lives, and 80 acres of pasture and woodland run by a community known as Brithdir Mawr.

Each community is independent and they co-exist as neighbours in a more traditional style.

Brithdir Mawr continues to support sustainable living based around the original farmhouse, with eight adults and four children sharing communal meals, looking after goats, horses and chickens - and also holding down part-time jobs to raise the £200 per month rent they each pay Mr Orbach, who lives in a house in nearby Newport.

The current residents now run businesses such as courses in furniture making and sustainable living for around £95 a head.

On their website they explain: 'We are eight big people and four little ones who choose to live here: working, eating, meeting and laughing together. Being a community is a large part of what we do. To sum up the rest; we are striving towards a life in which our footprints are as light as they can be.'

One resident, Ben Gabel, 38, who runs a seed business with his partner Kate, said: 'It is completely different to what it was. Most people would consider the set-up quite normal.

'The kids watch DVDs and we run a business from the farm.'
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