another cheaper house idea
Here is my latest crazy idea. Well, it's an enhanced earlier idea.
I think thick walls are helpful no matter what. I think two different layers are important as well for airsealing as well as insulation and thermal mass. I'm also into quick and cheaper.
So here's my latest big idea, Hesco wall (R-house) filled with dirt with strawbales on the outside tied into the welded wire of the Hesco walls. The bales would not be load bearing, just insulating. They would be covered with plaster to protect them from the elements. If critters somehow got into them, the occupant, such as myself, wouldn't hear a thing through the 18" of fill in the Hesco wall. I'm also thinking of putting the window frames between the layers.
Unlike the EarthCo Megablock idea I wrote about last fall, the R-house does not require any particular mix of soil to stick together, in fact it can be filled witImage via Wikipedia
h sand, just like armies have been doing successfully in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade now. The Hesco wall is simply wire mesh, a giant gabion, that holds a bag which holds the fill. Wires and pipes can be run inside the mesh before being filled. A bucket loader can fill up the gabions in a couple hours. The bales can be stacked in a day. The first coat of plaster can be sprayed on in a day or two, inside and out.
But, I just can't figure out a roof. Maybe a pole barn or Amish barn design. I'm not thinking two story but more a ranch with a loft. I do like the rounded walls in the picture above. And how to insulate it? I do like vault roofs as well. Owen Geiger recently posted pictures of two vaults involving earthbags at the earth bag building blog (which happens to be my favorite blog on the entire internet).
Are these two layers overkill? Not at the price for them. Maybe 3 foot think walls are not good for small building lots, but if I had the room, I'd go for it. If I had the room, I'd dig the dirt from the yard and make a pond. Three foot walls though. If one lives in a climate with extreme temperatures yet wants comfort without high technology, and the costs they entail, and if one wants to build without the concern of off-gassing from hi-tech products, and if one does not want the vulnerability to fire from timber posts, knowing that plastered bales won't burn, if one for some reason worries that meteors might strike their neighborhood regularly and in need of walls that resist bazooka missiles, how much better does this get?
I guess, if you are in hot places like deserts, one could just buy the Hesco bunker which comes with an aluminum roof, since you wouldn't need straw bale insulation.