A fascinating project by Welshman Simon Dale, constructed with just a few hand tools and the help of a few friends for (so far) about £3000, or $4600 / €3600. A few key design elements:
• Dug into hillside for low visual impact and shelter
• Stone and mud from diggings used for retaining walls, foundations etc.
• Frame of oak thinnings (spare wood) from surrounding woodland
• Reciprocal roof rafters are structurally and aesthaetically fantastic and very easy to do
• Straw bales in floor, walls and roof for super-insulation and easy building
• Plastic sheet and mud/turf roof for low impact and ease
• Lime plaster on walls is breathable and low energy to manufacture (compared to cement)
• Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings
• Anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere (windows, burner, plumbing, wiring…)
• Woodburner for heating – renewable and locally plentiful
• Flue goes through big stone/plaster lump to retain and slowly release heat
• Fridge is cooled by air coming underground through foundations
• Skylight in roof lets in natural feeling light
• Solar panels for lighting, music and computing
• Water by gravity from nearby spring
• Compost toilet
• Roof water collects in pond for garden etc.
And a few more shots. More info, photos, and plans here.