• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Photos: 'growing' eco-buildings  RSS feed

 
Konstantin Kirsch
Posts: 51
Location: Middle of Germany
14
  • Likes 17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm on the way to develop complete ecological, living, growing, compostable houses.
This is NOT something I want to do. This is something I do since years...

Since 1986 I'm developing grpwing houses out of living trees.
Just have a look at some pictures:





The wall is on the way to grow together to a solid wall, like a self grown log-house:




All this work is nice, I think. But ... it takes a long time to move into the house...
so what to do

Easy: Develop a living house in which you can move in fast!

So I developed in the years a new building technik which I call the ROOTDOME.

It's quite easy to explain: Build a positioning device (ist this word right? In Germany we call it 'schablone') out of timber.
Put pond liner on top, add living branches from willow or polar and fill soil on top.
The branches will create leaves on top, roots in the soil.
Because the rainwater and irrigation water flows down the soil to the liner the roots will grow to the liner and build there lots of roots, in time.
After some years the rootdome is so strong that you can remove the timber and the liner and you have a solid, living and rainprove Rootdome!

Look to these pictures:

The start of the timber construction:


nearly closed:


adding the poplar branches at the side of the EPDM-pondliner:


Connecting the branches to the living ridge:


soil on top, leaves growing high and a bee-hive out of a log on the roof:



And now think about what we can do with this nice building method!
Think about "earthship", PAHS and RMH.

Ok, we did it...

watch the pictures. We add a greenhous to the south-east:


we survived the first winter...




This oven was just for the first winter. Now I want to change this into a RMH:


We do have at the moment a Jean-Pain-Biomeiler in the north-west of the home which feeds a underfloor heating.
I build a PAHS storage of summerheat under the terrace around the greenhouse.
The whole house is insulated with a huge amount of foamed glas gravel in the top soil which will be in the grown roots still after removing timber and liner.
On the westside we do have a 4000l watertank (about 1000gallons) with fresh springwater, self-filling...
On the eastside we do have a cool storage room for the harvest.

see the plans:




The earth walls have been build similar to the earthbag buildings but with bags like nets. In germany they are common if you buy potatoes, onions etc.
These bags are not so strong, but in the gap between two bags we put plants. So now all the walls grow.... and we can eat from our walls.
We do have wine, kiwi, herbs and strawberries growing and fruiting on our home...
In the greenhouse we do have a wooden bathtub, we do have a greaywater cleaning system and the cleaned water we put onto the ridge to feed the poplartrees...

Do you like it?

One of my inspirations are the beautifull earthships.
But I do want to have LIVING trees as main construction. So I had to develop a new building method - and a brand new name.

This - all together - living rootdome greenhouse PAHS RMH JeanPainMailer house is now called:

PLANTSHIP

If you also want to plant a ship out of plants... ask me or visit me.

Konstantin

 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
AWESOME!!!
 
Jason Matthews
Posts: 22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Konstantin Kirsch wrote:

After some years the rootdome is so strong that you can remove the timber and the liner and you have a solid, living and rainprove Rootdome!



So are you actually going to dismantle the structure from the inside after a certain amount of time?
 
K Rutter
Posts: 1
Location: Raleigh, NC
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a totally amazing idea. I have never heard about it before and I love it!
 
Konstantin Kirsch
Posts: 51
Location: Middle of Germany
14
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jason Matthews wrote:So are you actually going to dismantle the structure from the inside after a certain amount of time?


Hi Jason,

we planted this house in spring 2012. I calculate to wait 20 years after that date bevor I probably dismantle the structure from the inside. So the year 2032 will be the year...
I thought to build a second project in the same way, but only 1 m deep (not 6 m like the first one). Than, after 20 years I want first to dismantle the additional structure and see whether it works or not.
I also thougth about building a glas / aqryl window in the wall of the second prototype and use translucent plastic. Than it could be possible to watch for the roots.

May be its possible to dismantle much earlier than 20 years.

To get ist strong locking to statics I do not see any problem. To get it waterproof is another story. For that the foam glass gravel are a very importand part. The "stones" I use from http://www.ecoglas.de have closed cells (right word?), so the water can't flow through the foam glass parts. It can only flow between the gravel. And there the roots are growing. So the roots have only gros so strong, that the gaps between the gravel are closed. That is about 10 to 20% of the wall. Than the wall is waterproof.

Konstantin
 
brandon gross
Posts: 213
21
books duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur tiny house trees urban wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really like the "plantship" idea and I bet the unfinished home will be beautiful. Did you use a psp methode close to Mike oehlers? Do you have an eathen floor covered in plastic of did you build a wood deck? Last question for now, do you back fill all at once, buring most of the plannted tree?
 
Konstantin Kirsch
Posts: 51
Location: Middle of Germany
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
brandon gross wrote:Did you use a psp methode close to Mike oehlers?


I use one layer of polyethylen direct on the timber. I use one layer of EPDM direct on the polyethylen. As I understodd the psp method from Mike Oehlers, he has the poly not direkt on the timer, or two layers with big distance between. So I do see a difference between both methods. As I understand psp, its the wish to get the water far away from the building. I do want to have the water there where the roots should grow.

brandon gross wrote:Do you have an eathen floor covered in plastic of did you build a wood deck?


I do have a earthen floor with underfloor heating in it with flagstones on top. In the back area where the sun can't shine on the floor I do have a wooden deck. I do not use plsatic on/in the floor.

brandon gross wrote:Last question for now, do you back fill all at once, buring most of the plannted tree?


We filled it as fast we could. It takes several days, better to say: weeks. I ordered poplar branches in the size of 4m (only 1 year old!). We buried them about 3.5m.
 
brandon gross
Posts: 213
21
books duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur tiny house trees urban wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks so much for your responce. I have just a few more questions, not to be a pain, but because I really like your design. How are the side structures or "rooms" built. Are they covered with plastic as well and bermed? Is soil on both sides of the structure. Looking at the drawing its a bit hard to tell how the side rooms attach. Did the trees have any problems with such a large portion of the stem being buried? And last i guess im wondering if there is soil beweem the main living quartes and the rooms on the side. Thank you so much for bearing with my many questions.
 
Thomas Pate
Posts: 15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The wood structure for your root dome is beautiful and I don't know why you would ever want to take it down. I suppose the fused roots would make for an interesting interior.
Do you think the rootdome would be able to be built parallel to a hill with the hill covering the structure to the middle of the roof? This scenario would work better for me but I'm not sure it would support the weight of all the backfill between the structure and the hill.
Thanks for your post konstantin. It's a great design and I think you should sell detailed plans.
 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love everything about this thread.

That is all.
 
Konstantin Kirsch
Posts: 51
Location: Middle of Germany
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Brandon

brandon gross wrote:Thanks so much for your responce. I have just a few more questions, not to be a pain, but because I really like your design.


No problem, ask as much as you want.

brandon gross wrote:How are the side structures or "rooms" built. Are they covered with plastic as well and bermed?


The left strukture is a watertank, bermed with foamglas and than with soil. On top of the foamglas over the tank I put a layer of plastic to help let the foamglas dry. Than there is soil on top of that. The right "room" is construkted out of timer with EPDM, foamglas and soil on top.

brandon gross wrote:Is soil on both sides of the structure. Looking at the drawing its a bit hard to tell how the side rooms attach.




The thin yellow line is the timber of the main room. The brown line are the root added with about 2" of soil. The bis gray area is foamglas gravel. The braun blocks are earthbags with soil.

brandon gross wrote:Did the trees have any problems with such a large portion of the stem being buried? And last i guess im wondering if there is soil beweem the main living quartes and the rooms on the side. Thank you so much for bearing with my many questions.


Poplar trees, or willows do not have any problem if you burie them with with soil. They just produce roots.

Konstantin

 
Konstantin Kirsch
Posts: 51
Location: Middle of Germany
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Thomas

Thomas Pate wrote:The wood structure for your root dome is beautiful and I don't know why you would ever want to take it down.


I have heard very often that thought. But on the one side, I realy want to know whether its is possible to get a living rootdome rainproof. And the most important thing is the legal situation:
If I would say that this timber should stay there "for ever" than some people think that I would need a permission. But I say: I only plant some trees, for that I do not need any permission. The timber is only a temporarily construction. And on the third thing I have the idea that it is possible to use this timberframe for the next and the next house to build much more than one root dome with just one construction. The timber is made out of larch wood which is very stabil and water resistant. So it will last for a long time.

Thomas Pate wrote: I suppose the fused roots would make for an interesting interior.
Do you think the rootdome would be able to be built parallel to a hill with the hill covering the structure to the middle of the roof? This scenario would work better for me but I'm not sure it would support the weight of all the backfill between the structure and the hill.


Parallel might be impossible because you need about the same amount of load on both sides of the roof. What might be possible if you cover one end of that "cave". I got a problem because the side with the water tank has a little bit more weight than the other side. I got to handle that. But if you would cover a "hill" on one side than the whole structure brakes down.

Thomas Pate wrote:Thanks for your post konstantin. It's a great design and I think you should sell detailed plans.


I'm on the way to write a book with lot of pictures and detailed plans about that project. I definitly want to produce that book in german, english and russian language. May be I get it done the coming winter.

Konstantin
 
Konstantin Kirsch
Posts: 51
Location: Middle of Germany
14
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I made some movies on building the walls. The sound is in german, but may be you understand the pictures...
Seeds from plants will land on the soil locking out of the bags. So the wall will change into a green, living earth wall:

 
Zach Weiss
pollinator
Posts: 296
Location: Montana
57
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Konstantin, this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen, thank you so much for posting! I have heard of people doing similar things but to see pictures really brings the beauty of it to life!
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3679
Location: Anjou ,France
177
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wonderful house ! I am very impressed . Please let us know when the book is coming out .
Could this house be built as a modular system with a central autrium / green house ? a bit like a flower with petals ?

David
 
Konstantin Kirsch
Posts: 51
Location: Middle of Germany
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi David,

My vision for bigger homes is to build for example 4 domes (6m length) instead of one like I did. In the middle between the 4 domes there will be a greenhouse tower with 4x4 m and 3 to 4 m hight. Then the trees of the root domes have enough space to live and the rooms have enough light trough the central greenhouse.

Thanks for the interest at the book. I want to write it this month, but I do not know whether I will get it done. There are always so much other things to do...

Konstantin
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3679
Location: Anjou ,France
177
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great minds think alike

Only I was thinking 5 domes I am not sure if domes is the correct word as my use of the word usually means circular . I was thinking having them North, east-ish , west-ish south east and south west . The north one to house the water works and heating system east, the bed room South east the Kitchen, south west the work room/office and west the second bedroom/ lounge .

David
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1492
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
19
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are there trees that grow like willows and produce edible fruit or foilage?
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
Posts: 1159
Location: northern northern california
71
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
William Bronson wrote: Are there trees that grow like willows and produce edible fruit or foilage?


fig, plum, hazel, and guava are some good ones that have that re rooting and easy spreading ability for something along these lines.
grapes, kiwis, roses and passionflower/passionfruit could also be good to grow among the trees to be climbing up and around the main structural trees and filling it in more.

btw, this is one of the most epically awesome eco buildings i have ever seen anywhere =)

i have done some small experimentation using similar methods, hegdes/fedges as structural walls...and have drawn a few dozen different versions of something like this.
most of what i have drawn have been partially underground, either into a hill or digging in a big bowl shape....then using methods like this for the furthest external "walls" with closer interior walls made of earthen materials...basically using something like this to surround a patio ish area....if one were to dig partially underground then the walls wouldnt need to grow as high to cover it up, and even had some ideas around pushing trees to be halfway fallen to use as a main support to cover up the underground parts...ooo all kinds of different ideas anyway

i am super inspired by this all, keep up the good work!!!
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1492
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
19
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Plums and hazel could work around here. Thank you Leila!
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
46
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Konstantin,

Wonderful and functional forms of espalier work and patients to keep them so well groomed during development. There are several architects and builders developing similar systems of using living trees and/or their framework for architecture.

If you upgraded the framework to heavy timbers I could see you building much deeper or larger structures as you suggested. You are well on your way to having a wonderful system. Even with the rubber wrapping I see most wood placed below grade level (ground level) decomposing in usually 5 years (and no less than 25) unless a very rot resistant species that has still been treated against rot either traditionally or with modern chemicals. Do you ever just back fill with gravel? How long has one of these structure been up and enduring the elements?

Look forward to following along wit your progress.

Regards,

j
 
Matt Darkstar
Posts: 17
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really like both ideas; the grafted trunks and the root dome. Great pictures as well. I would love to have a "cabin" like your root dome on my property. Also I think your first images of grafted woven trunks would be great as a gazebo/ jungle gym for my kids to play on. Where can I find more info on grafting and weaving shoots like that? I just watched a couple of pooktree videos. Thanks for sharing
 
Konstantin Kirsch
Posts: 51
Location: Middle of Germany
14
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Matt,

you can find lots of infos on this website:
http://www.arborsmith.com/

Konstantin
 
Matt Darkstar
Posts: 17
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Not a whole lot of info on that website, unless maybe you order the book. It looks like the technique you use is inoscultation, forcing the cambium to grow together. Do you peel back some bark where to limbs meet or do you just bind them together? What species of poplar do you use?
 
Andrew Herzfeld
Posts: 7
Location: Paris, France
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow, I can't wait to grow my house!
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1492
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
19
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was just talking to someone who wanted to do a similar project with a dome as the underlying skeleton,and I had too dig up this thread to show them.
Still amazing,still inspiring!
 
Tracy Wandling
steward
Posts: 1676
Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
334
bee books chicken forest garden fungi hugelkultur trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well. I think I just found the design basis for my root cellar! Beautiful idea.
 
Kyrt Ryder
Posts: 746
Location: Graham, Washington [Zone 7b, 47.041 Latitude] 41inches average annual rainfall, cool summer drought
11
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tracy Wandling wrote:Well. I think I just found the design basis for my root cellar! Beautiful idea.

I think I may have just found the design basis for an amazing gate tunnel allowing access into my future land. A tunnel which runs between large forested berms of spiny trees [Jujube, Honey Locust, Hawthorn, Osage Orange...]
 
Tracy Wandling
steward
Posts: 1676
Location: Cortes Island, British Columbia. Zone: 8ish Lat: 50; Rainfall: 50" ish; sand and rocks; well water
334
bee books chicken forest garden fungi hugelkultur trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ooooo, a tunnel! I like that idea. I need shady places - this would be wonderful. Also, a gazebo, or other outdoor 'room' would be cool.
 
Lutz Borgiel
Posts: 1
Location: Angeln, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, Europe
bee forest garden trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm so impressed by your work. Thank you so much for sharing. I actualy stumbled upon your youtube videos, while searching for glass grown together with trees. I wish to have a glasshouse for years now, but coudn't find a solution that would fullfill my needs.
It must be recycled glas as used in severall earthship designes, because co2 emission etc.  After I have seen your work and joint connections I coudn't sleep anymore. Have you ever tried to fill the gaps with bottles or something else? I could imagine to glue a lott of bottles together with a distance keeper that might disappear (rott) over time while the trees are filling the gaps in between. It would also be important to adjust the distances in dependence of the highth. Meaning the tree will be bigger at the bottom results in letting more space inbetween the lower bottles in the first place.

Would be nice to hear your thoughts about it.
Regards Lutz
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
Posts: 575
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
67
bike dog forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This topic gives me some new ideas for my 'future plans'! That will be in a tropical climate, so my 'tunnel shaped living building' will be very different from this one. My ideas and sketches were not about living trees (but waste wood bundles, using rot resistant tropical shrubs / trees). Maybe living trees are a better idea. In Leila's post I saw some tropical tree species can be used ... and they even produce fruits!
 
Brian McCune
Posts: 27
Location: Kent County, MI
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Konstantin Kirsch wrote:

I'm on the way to write a book with lot of pictures and detailed plans about that project. I definitly want to produce that book in german, english and russian language. May be I get it done the coming winter.

Konstantin


Hello Konstantin! I'm excited to re-discover this thread as I'm looking for an innovative and effective earth-integrated structure. I was wondering how that book is coming along? Also I beg you to give us an update on this structure and share some new pictures with the forums! Thanks
 
No more fooling around. Read this tiny ad:
Complete Wild Edibles Package by Sergei Boutenko (1 HD video + 10 eBooks)
https://permies.com/t/70674/digital-market/digital-market/Complete-Wild-Edibles-Package-Sergei
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!