Plan 660 sq. ft. (Green) two bedrooms, one bath. (enlarge)


1. This plan (based on a 4 foot bale module) was originally designed at 612 square feet, but bumped up to 660 by substituting a 6" frame wall for the original straw in the south face. As the south face is mainly windows and a door, a reasonable option is to frame it and use batt or solid foam insulation. Remember, this is an option, it works fine either way but is quite tight with straw. The extra space is "purchased" at no extra cost.

2. The rectangular shape is relatively easy to build. It could be load bearing, with the weight of a shed or gable roof sitting on the short east and west walls. With no windows or doors in the east wall, and only one door in the west wall, the stability and strength needed for load bearing is provided. The north/south bedroom walls would be another support point.

Another obvious option is a full post and beam system supporting a shed roof or a clearstory (for improved solar performance) over the short span. If the climiate is dry, consider adding a framed parapet on three sides of a low pitch shed. Assuming $20 per square foot for materials, this small house could be built for about $12,000 plus paid labor, land, fees, utiltiies, etc..

3. This design can logically be expanded out the west door to a garage, studio, work room, or office. Or expand out the north door if you need a large "master bedroom" with great access to the existing bath. A green house on the south side is another reasonable addition.

4. Note the very efficient plumbing wall between the kitchen and bath. The strip kitchen takes very little space, is efficient and easy to build. The movable island (as shown) will hold a small entertainment center below, facing the lounge. The bath is large and efficent with the option of two doors, one from the "master bedroom" and one public entrance from the north hallway.

5. This initial unit is too compact for washer and dryer but they could be accommodated in a bedroom expansion to the north. Or if one bedroom is sufficient, the north bedroom could be reduced in size, creating a much larger south "master bedroom" and a very nice "utility" room with water heater, furnace, washer, dryer, photovoltaics, etc.

6. No windows placed in the east and west walls greatly reduces summer heat build up, and makes this design suitable for attached housing. Adequate south facing glass provides passive solar tempering. North facing glass can be slightly reduced by using smaller windows, and substituting a standard 36" swing door for the sliding glass door to reduce winter heat loss.

7. As with other designs, this plan could be built proportionally larger to provide more space in each use area. Green builders award winning plan 1500 was derived from this plan. The biggest challenge here is to get sufficient exposed thermal mass in the bedroom and living areas to prevent overheating in late spring and early fall.


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