22 May Build Your Own Affordable, Eco-Friendly House
What’s the finest way to build a low-price house that doesn’t harm the planet? Most materials corresponding to concrete and metal are highly processed and transported long distances, making them unaffordable to millions who’re in want of housing. These high-tech materials also cause a substantial amount of hurt to the environment. The reply is to make the most of locally available, low-impact natural building supplies similar to earth, stone, straw and small diameter wood. This article explores a number of strategies of utilizing earth and sustainably harvested wood to cut housing costs to rock-backside prices. And because the methods are user-friendly, they are ideal for do-it-yourselfers.
Earthbag building: Like other earth building methods, earthbag building is easy to learn and extremely low cost. It has developed from the military’s use of building durable, blast and bullet resistant constructions with sandbags for a hundred years. Trendy-day builders are using the same basic process of filling and stacking bags to build lovely houses, offices, shops, schools and orphanages. Earthbag buildings are proof against mold, fire, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, bugs and rodents.
Since the principal building material is earth, which is commonly free or very low cost if delivered, structures could be constructed literally grime-cheap. No expensive equipment is needed. Most people already have the fundamental tools round their house – shovels, buckets, garden hose and ladder. The building process is so easy that unskilled workers can be taught each step of development just by watching for a minute. Earthbag building is extremely adaptable and can be utilized to build almost any shape imaginable, together with domes, vaults, roundhouses, or more typical sq. or rectangular designs.
Small diameter wood: U.S. forests are at present overcrowded and prone to forest fires. Millions of acres are destroyed every year to fires and disease. Gleaning small bushes from the forest in a sustainable manner really improves the health of the forest and reduces forest fires. With an affordable firewood permit (about $20), anybody can get hold of wood for building their home. Most of this wood often goes up the chimney to heat homes, however it is way more valuable when turned into helpful products with a long life. All of the wood for a house will be obtained this way at a lot lower value than buying dimension lumber from a building supply center.
One option is peeling the bark off and utilizing them in the round for pole frames. Wood within the spherical is much stronger than sawn lumber and requires less processing. With a portable mill or chainsaw attachment, do-it-yourselfers can also mill their own wood for beams, joists, studs, trusses, purlins, window and door frames, trim, cabinets and furniture. Where I live, builders are culling standing dead bushes (sound wood) from the forest so as to keep away from the time and effort of seasoning the wood. In addition, using sustainably harvested wood as described here is more aesthetically pleasing than standard stud walls covered with sheetrock. The beauty of the wood is left exposed, honoring the tree from which it came.
Tamped earth floors: Traditional poured earth floors can last for many centuries, thereby saving a small fortune on wood floor framing and replacement of carpet and linoleum every 15 years. Earth floors look like leather once completed and are extraordinarily beautiful. (They’re being used in fashionable, customized homes.) Nonetheless, poured earth floors take a very long time to dry, making them impractical in all however scorching, dry climates.
Tamped earth floors use less water and dry a lot faster. These floors can typically be walked on one or days after installing. The building process entails screening road base or different appropriate soil via three/8″ mesh. This combine is spread out in 2″ layers and tamped level. The process is repeated until the desired height is reached. Materials for the top coat is screened again through 1/8″ mesh. The top coat combination is hand-troweled and burnished, using just sufficient water to bond well. After the floor has totally dried, seal with several coats of linseed oil thinned with turpentine.
Earthen plaster: Probably the most stunning wall finish I’ve ever seen is earth plaster. If you happen to’ve by no means seen earth plaster earlier than, you could think of dreary brown walls. Do an Internet seek for “earth plaster” and you may see the amazing results. Because there are lots of kinds of clay, there isn’t any limit to the range of colours, textures and special effects. One well-liked technique makes use of mica within the plaster to create sparkling, brilliant walls.
Earthen plaster is the probably probably the most user-friendly wall finish. In many cultures ladies, children and the aged have performed the plaster work for centuries using just hands and basic tools. The key to durable earthen plaster is wide roof overhangs of about 36 inches. Keep rain and snow off the walls and it will last a long time, requiring only minor touchup.
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