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A Pattern Language for Natural Building  RSS feed

 
Dave Zoller
Posts: 35
Location: Kentucky
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I'm most of the way through this hefty tome and wondered what experiences y'all might have had with it. how have you implemented the patterns? what just seemed like it had no place?

I've been well thrilled so far with the book but am getting into the actual building portion of it and am wondering how dated it might be...they get real excited about ultra light weight cement ( vermiculite mix) and i just can't see that holding up over the years.

on the other hand the alcove and childrens area patterns have been great assets to me.

no particular direction just wanted to start a thread about the book.
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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You might be interested in this book:

Building green : a complete how-to guide to alternative building methods : earth plaster, straw bale, cordwood, cob, living roofs / Clarke Snell & Tim Callahan.

I didn't finish it  (it's big) and there was a waiting list at the library, but I read enough to know that they draw heavily on "pattern language."
 
                            
Posts: 126
Location: Ava, Mo, USA, Earth
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If you like the vaulted roofs and layouts, but don't want to use the lightweight concrete, you should take a look at:

http://www.flyingconcrete.com/

They use ferrocement shells to build "A Pattern Language"-type houses.

This is sort-of what I plan to do
 
Dave Zoller
Posts: 35
Location: Kentucky
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i wasn't crazy about the vaults at first. i've been planning to timber frame all along. and the third section of the book just comes on reall heavy with the vaults.

i think i might try it in one of the samll wings and just stick to big timbers in the main hall.

muzhik, i think i've run across the book you mentioned. a pattern language has an "all roads lead to rome" sort of feel for me. i just kept reading references to it and finally just broke down and read the thing.
 
Ardilla Esch
pollinator
Posts: 229
Location: Northern New Mexico, Zone 5b
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Check out the book:  Patterns of Home: The Ten Essentials of Enduring Design,
Max Jacobson,Murray Silverstein, Barbara Winslow

It is by some of the same co-authors as a pattern language.  It basically covers some of the patterns in a more picture book format.

I really liked the concepts of a pattern language and have read it twice.  It can be difficult to incorporate the patterns you like into a single design.  Some patterns begin to compete and you have to prioritize which ones are most important.  Overall I find it a useful tool for design.

Some of the patterns that were no-brainer musts for me:  Light on two sides, sleeping to east, thick walls, short passges, outdoor rooms...
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1095
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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There are good ideas in the book, and its companion, but I find the authors tone condescending. This was a real turnoff. They need to get their politics out of the book.
 
Scott Howard
Posts: 59
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Now, did you all read the "Timeless Way of Building"  -same author, same series. 
Its a bit more philosophical than the Pattern Language.

Remember what alexander says about the "quality without a name"  It's what most modern architecture has little of.
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1095
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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I read both together. Good ideas, as I said, but condescending and they need to get their politics out of the book as it gets in the way.
 
                      
Posts: 76
Location: Austin,TX
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Yeah love the flying concrete guy.

Thought about doing some lightweight concrete after seeing his stuff years ago.

Then I priced vermiculite. Not cheap. Plus all the rebar and wire mess are kind of a turn off.

Have been making a hoop house with walls of woodchips (2 5gal buckets of woodchips, .5 of a 5gal bucket of (wet) pulped paper and a 2 shovel fulls of cement and 3 of lime and about .5 5gal bucket of water).

Sets up very nice and the woodchips are not only free they deliver them for free. Can't get much cheaper than that.

Here's a vid a buddy did of the build



 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1095
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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We've done vermiculite light weight concrete and also with styrofoam shreds. Worked great and the styro was free. I got LOTS of it. Saved me many thousands of dollars when we put in a super insulated foundation for our on-farm slaughterhouse last year. The foundation would float like a boat should I want to...
 
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