Anyone who is a fan of Lord of the Rings will feel an instant love for this gorgeous little woodland home which resembles the dwelling of Bilbo Baggins from The Shire down to a tee. This low-impact woodland house was designed and built in Wales by Simon and his father-in-law with help from passers-by and friends. It took approximately 4 months/1,000-1,500 man hours to build and cost in the region of £3000 (4,796.98 USD). “The house was built with maximum regard for the environment and by reciprocation gives us a unique opportunity to live close to nature,” says the architect, Simon Dale.
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. When asked why he is doing this, Dale gave this answer: “It’s fun. Living your own life, in your own way is rewarding. Following our dreams keeps our souls alive.” He also has an admirable life philosophy; living with nature and contributing, not taking from our environment. The construction and plans behind this home are absolutely fascinating. Complete details on this awesome build can be found over at Simon Dale’s website.
According to the website, some key points to this environmentally friendly, low-impact home include the following:
- 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 aesthetically 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.