All this talk about our farm land search was a little depressing, so in order to put forth some “positive thinking” I am going to devote this post to my eco homestead design.
Previously I’ve taken two courses in eco home building, both at the Earthwood Building School in West Chazy, NY. One was focused on timber frame design and the other on cordwood masonry. I’ve also built a nice chicken coop when we had hens which was a great learning experience. And now my thinking for our eco homestead is this: if I build it in my mind, hopefully the land will come!
My Eco Homestead Design:
Highlights of the design:
It’s basically a one bedroom open floor plan that has a wall of glass for passive solar heating. Kitchen, bath and utility room are all on the same wall for ease of running water lines.
- Timber framed in a modular design – from wood sourced locally
- Lots of south-facing glass – best for a passive solar orientation
- Slab foundation – for thermal mass and radiant floor heating
- Extra insulation – going for R30 in the walls and R60 in the ceiling
- Utility room for bread oven, beer making and cheese hopefully
If I build it (in the garden of my mind), the land will come.
On paper to me it seems very doable. To keep costs down I will be doing most of the labor myself and will try to use recycled and salvaged materials whenever possible. Plus the footprint of the design makes it more manageable for one person to construct. We will have a need for guest accommodations at some point and I think the design lends itself to future additions.
So that’s my design. It’s small and I think small is smart in this day and age. When we lived in Norway and traveled around Europe we noticed that the majority of folks lived happily in small apartments and houses. Our first home in Stavanger was actually a little smaller than this 512 square foot design.
I think this design will suit us well and I will definitely be documenting the construction here on ADK Farmer Dan as soon as I get some farm land.