Could such biophilic homes work in Georgia?

Let’s face it: Georgia is light years behind states like California and Colorado when it comes to green building. It simply doesn’t have to be that way! I recently wrote a post for Thoughtforms Corporation Builders that I wanted to share with you all. These homes are popping up everywhere in Europe and I can’t wait for America to get on the ball.

This Hobbit Home located in Wales caught my attention for quite a few reasons. Primarily, it was constructed by two people without certification in architecture or building. Secondly, it’s quite green. We don’t recommend building a house without an architect but the environmentally friendly details and techniques are so intriguing–and appealing–that they deemed a second look.

Materials– The home’s frame, interior, and exterior finishes are constructed of salvaged or re-purposed wood. Oak thinnings from the nearby forest compose the frame. They are sturdy, and their organic forms create a natural and relaxed ambiance in the home. To minimized the embodied energy footprint, the walls are finished with mud and lime plaster instead of cement.

Insulation– Much of the home is buried in a hillside. The earth’s inherent thermal massing minimizes fluctuations in temperature. For additional insulation, bales of straw were tucked into the floor, walls, and roof.

Utilities– The natural insulation techniques fend off most expenses attributed to heating and cooling the property. For emergencies, there is a wood burning stove and a system installed that routes cool air from underground. The family’s water source is a local spring. The water is heated using energy from solar panels, which also provide electric light. For natural light, the family relies on a few large windows.

Such hobbit homes are springing up more frequently in the region, encouraging green builders everywhere that the market for sustainable housing is growing. The home demonstrates that green living has few economic boundaries; where there is a will, there is a way. And this way looks pretty nifty.

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