I like the "egg shape" because it resists wind and doesn't really have a roof
But the architect Own Geiger, has many different types, conventionally looking ones, towers, and free ones too, see the "categories" on that page. His "pay" plans are very affordable anyway, like $200 on average.
Compare that to Lowe's $700 Katrina cabinplans. Thank Lowes for trying to make a big profit out of a terrible disaster! And Earthship designer Michael Reynolds sells his plans for $3000 - even though in his movie "Garbage Warrior" he states he is "trying to save the world".
So I expect the house will be about $10k. I'll have the funds for it by next year (hopefully) or the next one.
They are affordable like mobile homes, only much better insulted. About $10 per square foot
I also consider earth bag and super adobe homes to be like "junior monolithic domes" - they resist all the elements almost as well.
Right now it looks like we'll be building in Harrison
It's not to far from you so if you're interested we're doing a session in Scarborough on building with cob. If you do end up doing earth bag and would like to make it an educational work party, let me know and I might be able to get some "city folk" up your way for some labor and learning! http://www.meetup.com/portlandpermaculture/events/24642511/
... and he does not suggest using regular earthbags in cold climates.
[quote author=Owen Geiger] Hi Craig. Search our EarthbagBuilding.com site for Kelly Hart’s house. It’s on the Project pages. He used bags of scoria (lava rock).He lives high in the mountains of Colorado where it’s very cold and the home is very comfortable. Lots more ideas on my Instructables page: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-an-Insulated-Earthbag-House/
I suggest starting out with a smaller dome of the same shape. Use it as a tool shed, etc. That will give you a chance to perfect your techniques.
You can add everything the same as earthships, only this is faster and easier. One secret is using lightweight bags of insulation like Kelly.
I am most interested in using "on site" materials, so I am thinking now along the lines of log cabin or similar.
I hope to integrate all the simple and low cost "Green Building" technologies popular in the 70's like Passive Solar, solarwater heater, thermal mass, adobe, and other things. Also the similar technologies of today, like insulated cistern for rain catching, rocket stove, and more.
I have a lot of research to do and I need to raise the bucks But I hope it will be affordable, interesting, and sustainable.
So I guess I will not soon be building an Earthbag home, but something at some point
We went along a similar route as you have in building a home in Maine. I looked at many of the plans on the site you mentioned. We decided to go with a cordwood house, as many of the materials we need to build this are readily available here. Clay, cordwood, logs for framing, and lots of rocks. We actually have just started building.
Good luck to you and your planning, looking forward to seeing what you end up doing.
homestead houligan: one who lives on any homestead and tends to break the "rules" or practices of a traditional homestead. ex:using practices such as permaculture on a homestead. homesteadhouligan.com