Reciprocal roof on earthbag roundhouse made with free eastern red cedar trees

Reciprocal roof on earthbag roundhouse made with free eastern red cedar trees

“Reciprocal frame roofs are highly regarded in the natural building community though there is a limited amount of information about them on the internet. Resources that we’ve found helpful are listed at the bottom of this post. There is evidence of similar structures dating back to antiquated castles of Japan and Eskimo huts, though I have yet to find images of these.

The modern reciprocal frame, and its coined name are credited to Graham Brown, of Norfolk, UK in 1987. The design of the frames allows for the elimination of a center pole, making them ideal for round houses and earthbag construction. They can also be used on flat-sided structures, but the lengths of the beams need to be long enough to account for the far-reaching corners.

The construction of our 1st reciprocal frame went fairly smooth, with a few bumps, which resulted in an excellent learning experience, as well as a beautiful roof frame.

We had already cut a few of our logs (Eastern red cedar) from Aaron’s father’s various acres, but we needed a few more, so about 3 days were spent in the shady woods, most appreciatively, due to the 100 degree weather. The eastern red cedar is considered a trash tree, so many ranchers are more than happy to have them removed.”

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