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Low Impact Wooden House That You Can Build All By Yourself

Claudia Miclaus Jul 7, 2019
Can one build a house by himself? Take a look, have a little courage and you might build your own house in no time!
Low impact wooden houses are a major factor of the concept, ‘low impact development (LID)’. In other words, people adopt to sustainable way of living by using naturally available resources like solar energy to generate electricity, humanure for farming, stones, mud, twigs, wood, timber, straw bales to construct houses.
You can even build and make use of compost toilet and use water from borewells or nearby springs. These ways are now adopted by many across the globe to promote zero carbon housing design, rainwater harvesting, permaculture and to reduce unnecessary wastage of non-renewable energy sources.
These low impact wooden houses will not only add to the aesthetic value of your home, but in a way also support sustainable development goals. ‘The Hobbit House’ by Simon Dale was one such example. The way it was built will always be an inspiration for many. Read ahead to know about what he had to say about it and how he built this low impact house.
Simon Dale said, "This is a house I built for our family 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 estimated 1000-1500 man hours and £3000 in materials. Not really so much in house buying terms (roughly £60/sq m excluding labour)."
Referring to the website of Simon Dale, he expresses, "The house was built with maximum regard for the environment and by reciprocation gives us a unique opportunity to live close to nature." This unusual project on permaculture can be called as the '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 as well 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, the hobbit house was raised with extra care for the environment and because of that, its inhabitants had the chance of living close to nature. It is fun to be one's own architect as it permits one to put soul into the project. It's therefore no longer a mass product built for maximum production of the building industry.
On his website, Simon Dale has left some of the design and key points of the construction. 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 wood from the surrounding woods.
For an easier building process, they used straw bales in walls, roof and floor for good insulation. The roof made of plastic sheet and mud is both low impact and easy to build. Also, using lime plaster for walls 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 used wood burner which is perfect, given the abundance of the location and the fact that it can always be renewed. The fridge was cooled by the air from the underground through the foundations.
For electrical appliances like lights, computers and listening to music, they used solar panels in order to produce electricity. The water was provided from the natural spring nearby. As for the toilet, they used compost toilets. Such toilets 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 was in short how this kind of house is built. The question may arise now, what type of tools did they use for building it?
Well, among the main tools we could mention are 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 said that his sole experience in the field came from working on a similar project a couple of years ago.
By this, he stressed on the fact that anyone can build such a house. He stated that his main skills for working on the house were self-confidence, being fit and having some really good mates to help him from time to time.
As Simon Dale did, you can too make use of the aforementioned materials, ways and techniques and build your own low impact wooden house.