I began to look for a home that displayed visual concepts of biomicry and industrial ecology. Success had been found in the form of a grassy hillside home in Wales. Famous for its structure and seen in films, the little Hobbit House was designed with “a low impact or permaculture approach to life- living in harmony with the natural world, doing things simply, and using appropriate levels of technology.” (Simon Dale)
Inspired by our outdoor activity, I will examine this house in Wales and highlight the connections between the building, industrial ecology and biomicry.
The functions of this home are to provide structure, shelter, low visual impact, and self-sustaining. Like a tree, the house was dug into the earth hillside. The (roots) flooring supported itself by a layer of stone, pallets planks, straw to anchor the unit while providing a damp proof membrane.
In place of dry wall, this home used straw bales in the walls for super insulation and easy building. Lime plaster on the walls is a breathable and low energy to manufacture compared to cement. The incredibly sustainable fridge unit is cooled by air coming underground through the foundation. A skylight in the roof eliminates unnecessary electricity usage. Fresh water derived by gravity from a nearby spring.
Commonly blinded by our actions that impact the environment, houses can be massive structures that under utilize space. Simon Dale, not a builder or carpenter created a hidden getaway to Hobbit House hillside. He addressed the issue of high visual impact and space by camouflaging the unit with a plastic sheet and mud/turf roof, allowing vegetation to cover.
Take a look http://www.simondale.net/house