This house is located in Wales, UK, and was created by architect Simon Dale. Here is what the author has to say about it: "You are looking at pictures of a house I built for our family in Wales. It was built by myself and my father-in-law with the help from passers by and visiting friends. 4 months after starting we were moved in and cozy. I estimate 1000-1500 working hours and £3000 put in to this point. Not really so much in house buying terms (roughly £60/sq m excluding labor)."
Also, "The house was built with maximum regard for the environment and by reciprocation gives us a unique opportunity to live close to nature." The architect based this unusual project on the permaculture or also called 'low-impact' life approach. This concept is about living in harmony both with nature, and with our own selves. It's about leading a simpler life and using proper technology also to do so. But why would anyone choose that, instead of some super-high-tech and completely equipped apartment in a big city? Here's Simone Dale's perspective again: "It's fun. Living your own life, in your own way is rewarding. Following our dreams keeps our souls alive."
According to the author, this house was raised up with extra care for the environment and because of that, its inhabitants have the chance of living close to nature. It's a lot of fun to be one's own architect and can also permit one to put some soul into one's project, something of oneself. It's therefore no longer a mass product built for maximum production of the building industry.
On his website, the architect left some of the design and construction's key points. One of them is that the house was dug into the hillside to create shelter and rather low visual impact. Also, for the retaining walls, they used stone and mud from diggings. They used spare woods from the surrounding woods. They also used straw bales in walls, roof and floor for good insulation and for an easier building process. The roof made of plastic sheet and mud is both low impact and easy to build. Also, the walls' lime plaster material makes them more breathable and requires less energy to build, as compared to cement. For fittings and floors they used scrap wood, not to mention a lot of waste materials such as wiring, plumbing, burner, windows, and many more. For heating, they use wood burner which is perfect, given the abundance of the location and the fact that it can always be renewed. The fridge is cooled by the air coming from the underground through the foundations. For lighting, computer use and listening to music, they use solar panels in order to produce electricity. The water is provided from the natural spring nearby. As for the toilet, they use compost type of toilets. These can treat human waste by turning it into a sort of useful soil additive which is also called "humanure". This can be obtained by the processes of dehydration and composting. There are many models and designs of such toilets. Also, these toilets are definitely not connected to the system of sewage, so they hardly use any water.
Still part of the permaculture concept is also the fact that roof water is collected in ponds in order to be used for gardening and other usages. Ok, so this is in short how this kind of house is built. The question may arise now, what type of tools do they use for building it? Well, among the main tools we could mention the hammer, the chainsaw, the one inch tinsel. The author also insists on telling us that he has nothing to do with the profession of a builder or a carpenter. He says that his sole experience in this field comes from working on a similar project a couple of years ago, and also a little bit of working in between. By this, he stresses the fact that anyone can build such a house. He states that his main skills for working on this house were self-confidence, being fit and having some good mates to help him from time to time.