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Kiva-style houses?

Posts: 191
Location: Golden Valley, AZ 86413
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Has anone here ever tried to re-create a kiva-styled structure using modern-day materials?

It is round, so it should be possible to completely bury it. The ancient Pueblo(?) Native Americans built them, and their walls are still standing (Unless I am looking at reconstructed kiva's).

I'm thinking that those cinder-blocks with the angled ends could be used to create the round shape. A few pieces of rebar and some concrete to fill the spaces where the rebar is placed, and the structure should be able to be back-filled with no problem. Placed on a well-leveled concrete footer, and the entire thing could go up rather quickly. The walls could be filled with vermiculite for insulation. The final finish on the interior walls could be cob or stucco, or left as is. I would use exposed water and sewer pipes and electrical conduits, but I'm not a stickler for hiding my utilities. The Pueblo natives used wood beams and a woven-lathe system to support an earthen roof. the roof was supported with interior posts. The photo shows that the roof didn't require interior posts!

I remember actually visiting this one. It was an awesome experience!

[Thumbnail for kiva-at-spruce-tree-house-104834642-57e05e415f9b586516c97c8e.jpg],1)/kiva-at-spruce-tree-house-104834642-57e05e415f9b586516c97c8e.jpg
Posts: 8363
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I thought of something like this, but very small, just as a refuge from the heat in a tropical location. It would be mostly for sleeping and watching movies.  Days can go as high as 95 Fahrenheit, a few times a year, but subsoil temperatures are about 80. Quite livable, especially since I would put in a small wading pool. I'm only looking at hillside locations, so the drainage of the footing and the pool would not be impeded. No need to insulate. It would probably be a good idea to put a water  proof coating on exterior, so that it doesn't go moldy.

I'd give it a floor drain, so I have the option of using a garden hose on the blocks and the concrete slab. A black chimney would heat up on sunny days and draw air through the structure. That air would pass through Earth tubes and then pass over a swamp cooler, except when the humidity is too high.

This wouldn't be a space where I expect to get anything done, beyond staying cool and entertained.

It would also function as a typhoon shelter and a bunker, should we ever come under attack.
Posts: 24
Location: Sedona, AZ & Koh, Chang, Thailand
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I thought of something like this, but very small, just as a refuge from the heat in a tropical location

It is a lovely idea for a tropical location, but there would be two major hurdles.

• Monsoon rains (I do believe with clever design, the water could be kept out)

• Termites (I DO NOT believe this issue could easily be avoided, although roof beams of teak would at least last longer than other woods)

Avoiding wood altogether is another option, but then some of the charm would be lost.
Cob is sand, clay and sometimes straw. This tiny ad is made of cob:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
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