Fantasising about our next house….

5 04 2013

As I sit here fantasising about selling this place for the big move, I continually design “the next house” in my head.  Beats getting angry at the mismanagement of the Matrix.  I thought I’d share some ideas with my readers who are growing in numbers at an amazing rate this month……..  must be doing something right!

I recently found this: 

Whilst I would not copy this exactly – it is wedge shaped rather than single room deep as I

Earth sheltered house

Earth sheltered house

want – it has inspired me to consider our next dwelling.  Furthermore, as a lot of concrete is involved – and we all know how greenhouse unfriendly that stuff is – I am considering the possibility of using a material designed in Tasmania that has been around for quite some time but has not taken off for reasons I have yet to establish:  TecEco Cement.


Solar gain through front glazing

Developed by John Harrison in Glenorchy, TecEco’s technologies, in John’s own words, “are part of an ambitious yet uniquely profitable and politically acceptable solution to the problems of global warming, water and waste we call Gaia Engineering which is a tececology that can save civilisation as we know it on our planet by changing materials flows and thus underlying damaging moleconomic flows resulting in carbon dioxide and other wastes becoming resources.”  Follow those links, and you will find more interesting stuff to read.

Obviously with no money and no block of land to build on, things are hardly moving just yet, but at least John has agreed to be involved when the time comes.  Only time will tell.  The economy has to hold together for starters!

There are several reasons why I want to build this way.  Since the last bout of Tasmanian bushfires, and as it is becoming recognised that Climate Change has made some permanent alterations to weather patterns down South, I have become particularly concerned about being bushfire proof.  An earth sheltered house seriously reduces exposure to fire by only having one side exposed to the elements.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat one side, if facing the Equator (ie, North in Australia) can become the solar heater during the cool winter months, and with the use of double (or even triple) glazing, this solar gain can be trapped inside the house and stored in all that concrete such that the house never needs additional heating.  By sizing the eaves appropriately, it’s possible to exclude the sun altogether in Summer thus avoiding unwelcome heating at that time of the year.

A building like this can only be built on a North facing slope…..  and that’s what I’m looking for.  I have actually found several already!  All I need is a buyer for this place, which is tentatively “on the market” with a small ad in Grassroots magazine, soon to be followed by another in Earth Garden.

I’ve been feverishly finishing off Mon Abri with those details we put off for years, thinking we’d never ever sell and put up with as mere aesthetic bling….  like cornices and pelmets, and painting!  It may be bling to us, but I think it’s important that the next owner likes what s/he sees.  I am planning a page on this blog soon to market the property once I have enough quality photos to show it off properly.  So watch this space.