Another This Man Made His Dream Home Out Of Dirt!
I’ve always dreamt of packing up, moving to a far off place and living off-grid and off the land. But while this is just my dream, others have actually made it their reality, and this is Another This Man Made His Dream Home Out Of Dirt! story. Well, kind of. What this is, is a beautiful little ‘dome home’ built in Thailand that incorporates a lot of natural design elements and is a must-see for anyone dreaming of – or contemplating – packing up and doing the same.
Photographer and musician, Steve Areen, decided to pack up and build a semi off-grid tiny dome house in the middle of a Thai mango farm. Although his tranquil abode isn’t one hundred percent off the grid – the water is heated, and the house is lit with electricity powered by conventional sources – there are many other ‘off-grid’ aspects, such as natural cooling and day-lighting provided by cut-outs in the roof. Not only is his home semi off-grid, but it is also natural and eco-friendly, incorporating such aspects as a grass roof and bricks and blocks created from the ground.
Steve’s friend, Hajjar Gibran, provided him with the piece of land on his mango farm and also provided him with invaluable advice during the building process. Gibran knew what he was talking about, though. He owns the Gibran Center, which is (among other things) an ‘air-crete’ company that focuses on ‘building our world together’. Air-crete is a non-toxic, ultra-light cement injection (made of air, water, and cement) which is mold and pest resistant, fireproof and is environmentally safe with a small carbon footprint. With a low environmental impact in an age of ecological crisis, air-crete might be the perfect solution for anyone wishing to build ‘green,' like Steve.
Although Steve has what appears to be a strong, beautiful and fun home, he is already working on his next goal, which is to take his quick, affordable design and build with even more sustainable materials for better insulation for colder climates. And this time, he wants to go totally off-grid (and have no reliance on the main electrical grid, or any other municipal services – such as sewer, water or natural gas). His goal is to utilize earthen bricks, also known as compressed earth blocks (CEBs), which is a building material made from damp soil compressed at high pressure to form blocks. These CEBs are assembled into walls using standard masonry and bricklaying techniques and provide many advantages, such as reduced materials cost, increased efficiency, and sustainability as well as excellent thermal performance which reduces heating and cooling costs. It would seem only suiting that a project such as this, which literally builds a house out of the dirt and provides a much more simplistic and natural environment, would also be off-grid, autonomous and operate completely independently of all conventional public utility services.
You would probably think a home like this would cost a fortune, but Steve built his entire 500 square foot dome home for just $9,000. Depending on the cost to have it wired for heat and lights, this home could just have easily been built totally off-grid, and provided stunning features such as an outdoor shower, a woodstove or even solar lights. Perhaps if you are contemplating a similar build, you could go totally off the grid and enjoy the full experience of living in an earthen house, independent of all utility services! But the best part about Steve’s dome home? It’s for rent. So if you are considering vacationing in Thailand, look Steve up and rent his tiny dome home to experience ‘natural’ living at its finest.
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