A Low Impact Woodland Home

A Low Impact Woodland Home

Carrie McBride
Mar 3, 2008

Meet Simon, Jasmine, Cosmo and Elfie. They look a little tall to be Hobbits, right? This Welsh family found a unique solution to the high-cost of housing while also indulging their desire to live closer to nature by building a small eco-home into a hillside. It took them a few months, a few thousand dollars, and a tolerance of mud and slugs.

Often when we feature incredible spaces created by parents, one or both of them turn out to be trained as architects or designers, but dad, Simon Dale, is just a regular guy. This kind of building is accessible to anyone. My main relevant skills were being able bodied, having self belief and perseverence and a mate or two to give a lift now and again.

Some of the eco features include:

  • a skylight to let in natural light

  • solar panels to fuel lights and electronics like a cd player and computer

  • a refrigerator cooled by air coming underground through the foundation

  • water supplied by gravity from a nearby spring

  • collection of roof water for use in the garden

  • a compost toilet

See more photos and read more about the house and the building process at Simon Dale's website. What's next for this family? They're participants in the Lammas project - along with eight other families, they'll be swinging their hammers again to create Wales' first self-built eco-village.

Photos: A Low Impact Woodland Home

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