PLAN 612 SQ. FT. (ROUND), one bedroom, study, one bath.
(elevation)and(elevations)

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NOTE, This round plan and the slightly larger octagon plans below are similar enough that I decided to combine them on one page for comparison purposes.

612 ROUND...1. This round plan with 14' radius, ( 28' diameter), displaces 612 square feet (inside). The same plan could be built with a 15', 16', 17', 18', 19', or 20' radius. A 20' radius for example would displace 1256 square feet.

2. Assuming $30 per square foot for materials, the 612 square feet version could be build for about $18,000, the 1256 square foot house for about $37,000 (excluding land, labor, connections, fees, etc.) The plans would be basically the same, but with more room for each use in the larger sizes.

3. This design is easily expandable by building another round (or any shape) unit to the east or west. The entry doors are designed to pass out east or west through a breeze way or enclosed entry to the next unit, without compromising passive solar integrity.

4. The plan is divided into south facing public spaces, bath/bedrooms to the north with an efficient traffic pattern between the east to west entry doors.

5. Very efficient (read inexpensive and easy to build), plumbing wall between kitchen and bathroom. Gas water heater, furnace and cooking stove close together for easy, inexpensive access to storage tank (or natural gas).

6. Windows into large bedroom, and bathroom could be shaded with tree(s) or other devises to prevent summer heat build up.

7. Second story or loft could be accessed with regular staircase as shown or with "ladder" staircase in smaller plans. Could be built as two stories with garage/shop/studio/etc. under with second floor access by outside staircase. Also cound be built as three stories with third (view story), accessed either from outside staircase or inside.

8. Can be build with load bearing or post and beam construction. Roof could be cone, gable, shed, or flat.


656 SQ. FT. (OCTAGON) (possible elevations)

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1. (This plan and the "hippy" version below are both based on the same octagon footprint.) Obviously, this is an octagon...but the size is determined by the bale module. Each side of the octagon is the length of 3, four foot (three string) bales. The triangle created at each corner where the bales meet is just the right size to accept a large post for the post and beam system. No notching is required and the post are hidden in the walls, a slick system.

2. The octagon shape appears to have no particular advantage from an energy perspective, except that it creates a compact interior space ..much like a circle, or dome, with lots of interior space for the exterior surface area. And the cone/pyramid like roof is complex and relatively expensive, (some may be satisfied with a simple shed roof). The reason one would choose this shape, is for the shape itself, and the energy field it creates, a vote against another box, and the interesting roof that goes with it.

3. This version is basically divided into two halves, the south facing public areas...combination living, dining, kitchen and the north side bedrooms and bath. The efficient strip kitchen shares a plumbing wall with the bath. The "L" shaped hallway assures privacy and intruique. Entry doors on the east and west establish an efficient circulation pattern and support additions (octagonal) on the east/west axis...through breezeways.d

4. Even though a small plan...the furniture placement works well...is satisfying...and allows for several large plants, book shelves and an "entertainment center". Room exists on the wall between the large bedroom and the living area for a staircase up to an optional loft...or second level. Using our rule of thumb...this little primary unit would require about $6,500 for materials...with the option of building later units (east and west) for studio, shope, great room, etc.d

5. For a larger version of the octagon concept see plan 1075 below which is based on 5 two string bales per side, rather than 3 three string bales as shown here.

656 SQ. FT. (hippy octagon)(possible elevations)

1. This is the same basic structure as plan 656 above but with a very different interior layout...the hippy layout...an open plan with no sharp room divisions, and most uses resting against the exterior walls. Clearly...the look and feel is very different from 656 above, with its traditional rooms and walls...you decide.

2. An all purpose table (round or octagonal) is located at the exact center of the house, a recognition and re-enforcement of the power and significance of the octagonal shape and form. A very comfortable build in seating area (with storage under) curves around the table on the east side, the back supporting a long bar for hanging clothes.

3. A strip kitchen wraps around the west exterior walls with the sink centered on the west window and a large half moon island providing casual eating with storage under. Overflow eating is on the central table. Bath functions are placed on the north wall(s), the separate toilet, vanity, and shower offering less privacy but more democratic access. The back door is through the toilet...a nice hippy touch.

4. Three futon beds on raised platforms with storage under wrap the east wall(s), with immediate access to the hanging clothes bar (offering some privacy). Additional storage/display (probably an alter) fit into the corners of the partial walls between beds. Each bed has its own window with a great view and good ventialtion.

5. The south/west wall...the wall immediately left of the south entry...can be used for a wood burning stove (or if needed, another bed, or a computer/office center). Build a large shelf for plants in the south west window, and wood storage below. As no hippy octagon would be complete without a loft, the optional loft is accessed by a ladder mounted on the bathroom (toilet) wall. Use the loft for meditation...or a water storage tank...depending on your priorities.

6. Don't forget that this plan (as all others) can be reversed, putting the beds on the west...not...you don't want the late summer sun heating up your bedrooms!...but then the kitchen would get the morning sun...help kick start you in the morning. OK, leave the orientation as it is. I could live in this house.

Webmaster and Straw Bale Design, Robert Andrews, 3223 Urban St., Pueblo, Colorado, 81005,
(719) 561-8020 (719) 546-0315, e-bale@balewatch.com


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