Ok I have several thoughts and would like some feedback.
1) I want to build a little home. Ohio, think Pittsburgh pa but a bit west.
2) The land is very wooded and lots of hill and valley. I'm thinking wofati but not sure if the needed changes would qualify as that type building exactly. I am going to try and make: correct roof edge, two layers of membrane, uphill trench, inner pole structure of logs, no treated wood. What it might not have: uphill side has at least 5ft roof extended from outer wall, at least 8in of dirt between the membrane layers, at least 16in dirt on top of membrane, at least 35% windows on uphill and downhill sides. I think this will all be hand built and will probably be adding to the cover over time. I do have access to old windows and will be optimizing as much as I can.
3) The uphill side I'm considering adding a few clear panels and roofing it like a walipini. It could be a nice little porch or depending on how it goes insulation/temperature wise if it could be used like a greenhouse. It's not the most toxic free way to go but the way I'm picturing it I think it could work well.
4) I'm hoping to experiment with some variations on soil-cement and sawdust-concrete. Clay loam soil here. I have read pros and cons for them but hoping to use it for the uphill wall so it won't be open to the weather. And if it would work for the floor. Shall see how the experiments go.
5) There are two amish families who run saw mills close to me and I'm hoping to source the cut wood from them. I have some wooded area that will be thinned for silvopasture and hope to source a fair bit from that.
Emphasis on this will probably be entirely me and my two hands building this. I'm hoping by making this post I can get the gears moving and have things drawn up and planned out so that I can build next year.
This is how I view a wofati:
-its a log/wood cabin that has a waterproof membrane on its roof and the sides.
-Regular dirt is then bermned on its side, there is no need to add concrete or soil-cement or sawdust cement
-the roof is only slightly more involved in that it has two layers of membrane: 1) dry insulative duff, 2) regular wet dirt with grass growing on it
Regular Log cabins dont need a layer of plaster (cob/soil-cement/sawdust-cement).
Similarly the exposed sides of the "wofati" doesn't need a plaster.
Also the insulative duff/sawdust on the roof doesn't need a cement binder, infact it will actually make it more heat conductive, thus requiring a thicker roof
Uhmmm, but it seems that you actually talking about a house that is closer to a Mike Oehler's hillside underground house vs a pure flatland wofati.
The uphill patio walls are made of dirt, are you saying that you want to stabilize the sides with cement-soil/gabion/etc.
I do like your idea of coving the uphill patio with "glass", thus making it a greenhouse
What is your slope? If you want to experiment with soil-cement and sawdust-concrete and have access to a sawmill, maybe a wooden cabin with an earthen base and a passive greenhouse stuck to it could be perfect.