Based on ancient Native American designs, this earthbag lodge with living roof will keep you cozy and warm even in the harshest climates, because it is compact, earth-sheltered, insulated and uses wood heat. South-facing windows and skylight over the kitchen ensure ample daylighting. It can be built for about $2,000 assuming wood poles are gathered locally.
Building basics: This hexagonal structure consists of earthbag walls, about head high, and a wood framed wall on the south. Six large center poles with timber beams support sloping roof poles and living roof.
For comparison, here’s a traditional Native American earth lodge. (I found this beautiful photo online. My design is quite similar, except the lower walls are earthbags.) This is a great example of building affordable homes using naturally available materials – poles and sod, in this case. There’s no reason why everyone can’t have a comparable home, and no reason to be living in run-down trailer houses.
Image credit: Cory Spotted Bear
Indian Country Today
Pawnee/Arikara Earth Lodge Built in 13 Days