The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Concrete culvert cabin idea

culvert homeI'm always interested in low budget building methods that break away from the traditional square lodge approach.

If these concrete culverts were buried into a south facing hillside you might get a perfect year round temperature at zero cost?

This could also work as a root cellar and maybe even a small green house if enough sky lights could be added. The circular design would make it easy to roll into position when you get ready to bury it.

Edited to add:

Trailersteading tells how to enjoy all the advantages of a tiny house at a fraction of the cost by living in a used mobile home.  Now available for $1.99 on Amazon.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Where do you obtain the culvert and what is cost?
Comment by Anonymous Sun Mar 20 20:02:50 2011
Unfortunately, we don't have any of that information. If you follow the link on the picture, you'll see where Mark found it, but even that guy doesn't seem to have come up with the idea, and he doesn't cite his sources. If I wanted to replicate it, I'd probably talk to the local road crew --- I know they use huge culverts like that.
Comment by anna Sun Mar 20 20:20:17 2011

Some examples;

Bag End 2

woodland home


The big drawback of using culverts is that you'd have to make all the furniture to fit the house. Unless you want to waste a lot of space, you'll need to make cupboards, the kitchen, tha bathroom etc. to fit the curved walls. However, the idea of hiding all the cabling and piping in the floor and the ceiling is brilliant. It'll be out of the way but accessible when repairs are needed.

E.g. cretex has elliptical pipes with a span of 180 inches and a rise of 116 inches. That should be plenty big, I think. They do weigh 7050 lb/ft (if I'm reading the table correctly) though, so getting them to your property might be a big of a drag!

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon Mar 21 17:33:02 2011
I've always loved the photos of the second house you link to. I tend to agree with you about the difficulties of making a round house like that use space efficiently, especially one with a round floor!
Comment by anna Mon Mar 21 18:12:19 2011
Just Google concrete or cement pipe and you'll find several suppliers of the basic pipe. That's what I did to start working on my own system.
Comment by Anonymous Fri May 13 11:12:41 2011
Anonymous --- good idea! I'd love to see some photos of your cabin!
Comment by anna Fri May 13 11:58:06 2011

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