Phase Four:  Interior Walls

Building interior walls takes a long time.  So be rested and creative while forming the walls.  You'll need extra time to allow the cob time to set up whenever you build vertically.  In reality you are building two sides that need to be fairly smooth.  Remember to refer back to your interior design on wall placement and any special features you design for accents, windows or doors.

So lets talk about referring back to your initial design.  You'll need to consider and pay attention to the geography and home solar orientation.  This was of utmost importance in designing the SHP model home.  Sustainability was a key factor.  Efficiency and healthy environment helped us place the home in the best solar orientation.  Trees and buildings  would prevent a "passive solar" thermal mass absorption.  Early on we decided to build without the need for heating and cooling.  By utilizing the sun's energy we designed the house with thermal mass properties.  During winter months the abundant southern facing windows allow heat to be absorbed on the floors and walls.  Heat is released during the night to keep the house warm.

Summer time heat is easily deflected by the 4 foot southern overhang.  Window placement allows for wind to flow through the house.  Walls can help in directing the cross ventilation.  The earthen floors will stay cool through the night and continue cooling the interior. 

So design, location and accents in constructing the walls is very important.  The following pictures will help you to understand the process.





























Installation of southern windows
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Pictures say a lot but when building a "natural building home" it takes a LOT of manual labor.  Its a trade off for costs.  Your labor versus paying someone!

Remember most of the skills needed is understanding:

      Geography of homes location (flat clear land, trees, buildings, hills/berms, water such a lake or river)

      Who will be designing the home (what will be the purpose of your building project)

      Who will be building (can you get volunteers and family members to help)

      Time frame (develop a realistic schedule of when you can dedicate time)

      Weather (this is a major consideration of when you start your project, conditions of hot/cold temperatures and wetness

      Develop a budget (include funds needed, when to purchase materials-storage of materials)

        ......ALWAYS add 30% to your budget for increase in material costs and overruns

        ......Seek donations from friends, family, businesses (donated items such as windows/doors/wood); garage sales is a

              good source, Craigslist, Restore.....and even stuff put to the road

        ......If you don't need to worry about funding, you still need to budget and acquire your purchases in advance so your

               materials are ready when your time and weather permits working at construction site

Most "natural building homes" require very few tools:  shovels, gloves, hammer, saws, wheel barrows, tarps.  Basically tools which don't require major purchases or training.  Friends and family members who have building experience are a tremendous asset.  Especially in the area of electrical and plumbing.

Planning and designing are critical to your succeeding.  Consult and do your research.  Read blogs about which natural building materials seem to fit your dreams of building your own home/cottage.  Attend classes or workshops to help you understand exactly what your getting yourself into before you take any action. 

Being your own designer has many rewards.  Seeing your home come together is very therapeutic and great for family experiences.  Remember to not overwork yourself or others......this is very easy to do especially if you are task orientated.