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Earth Home Plans & Designs

Building a basic, minimalist earth home is not a difficult task, at least not for somebody who is prepared for this type of eco-friendly dwelling.

Nevertheless, sometimes it is more beneficial to ask for help from someone who has some experience in planning, designing and eventually supervising the construction of an earth home.

Below is a list of some basic rules and that should be adhered to if one wants to succeed at building an earth home.

How to plan and build a basic earth home?

  • Finding the right kind of soil is the first requirement. The soil must be sandy, but not all sand (ideally it should contain between 50% and 75% of sand). This soil would later be compressed.
  • It is necessary to sieve the soil through to get rid of larger chunks of rock, stones, roots and other unwanted material. This should be done very carefully, as the future durability of the structures depends on it.
  • Make sure that the soil is dry. According to the experts, if the soil's moisture level is more than 10%, it will not compress effectively.
  • Prepare a good foundation. An ideal one would be a thick layer of concrete that will separate the earth home from the ground. Therefore, it will not be susceptible to the devastating effects of water and frost.
  • Construct a wooden framework, which will offer support to the future walls of the house (plywood is usually a very good material for this purpose). The shape in which the wood is placed will determine the shape of the future walls and the way it will look on the outside. Make sure to consult the plans carefully in order to get the intended effect.
  • Once the framework is done, you can start filling the space inside with the building material (a slightly moist dirt/soil). Adding special stabilizers will strengthen the whole construction. Once the soil is spread, you can start ramming it until it is very hard. This could be done manually (but is very laborious and tiresome) or you can use some machinery.
  • The walls that are exposed should be strengthened additionally; they should be protected against the external influences (this includes weather conditions, but also animals, insects, intruders, etc.).

This rough guide to building an earth home covers only basic rules of construction. Earth homes can have various designs. It all depends on the vision and requirements of the owner. Earth homes can be fully integrated into the natural environment. The designer can arrange to have the earth home built near natural resources, like streams, lakes, waterfalls or in the sides of mountains.

Further eco-friendly technological improvements can be employed, for example solar panels, wind turbines or rain water collection systems. Also, advanced building and design techniques make the earth home responsive to the local climate. In the winter a well designed earth home should be able to retain heat, while in the summer it should be a cool place of respite.

Reasoning Reasonableness ...

Conservation of energy, low cost and having a low carbon footprint are three of the main reasons people build earth homes. What is your main reason?

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