[permaculture] new article: wofati eco building

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Sun Nov 1 00:50:17 EDT 2009

Scott, could you tell us a bit more about your successful earth 
sheltered houses? In particular, did they follow or contradict the 
wofati rules?

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Scott Pittman wrote:
> I built a series of "Earth Sheltered" houses back in the 80's and they have
> performed like magic for the past 20 plus years.  A big disadvantage, for
> realtors, is that there is turn over value since no one moves out.  This was
> one of the reasons given for not permitting another Village Homes
> development in Davis California.
> In spite of how great they perform the cost is consistently driven up by
> building codes.  Certainly you can't use firewood construction or prunnings
> in New Mexico unless you are totally off the grid, and I mean totally.  I've
> always known that you could dig a hole at the ridge of a south facing slope,
> set the roofing members on rock piers set back from the excavated walls,
> then plaster the interior with mud and move in.  We certainly built our root
> cellars (storm cellars) this way and they are still there 70 years later.
> Giving credit where due Malcolm Wells of Cherry Hill, NJ was the first Earth
> Sheltered developer that I ever heard of, except perhaps the early
> Troglodytes. 
> Scott Pittman
> Director
> Permaculture Institute
> www.permaculture.org


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