Tag Archives: Off grid

Cordwood in New Zealand

Clifton Loveridge of Loveridge Woodcraft sent the following pictures of this beautiful cordwood build in Tokomaru Bay, New Zealand.  Clifton used Macrocarpa log ends 350mm thick (14 inches), posts were Macrocarpa and Manuka wrapped in thick plastic and mortared.Loveridge Woodcraft NZ Tokomaru Bay 2 with logo.jpgBeautiful flooring using stones and large slabs of stone.Loveridge Woodcraft NZ Tokomaru Bay 1 with logo.jpgIt boasts a “Hessian Ceiling”, (which is burlap stapled between the roundwood rafters)  glass wool (fiberglass) insulation and an iron roof.  Clifton states, “I’m keen to build more of these.”   Loveridge Woodcraft NZ Tokomaru Bay 3The cordwood building is 30′ x 20′ (600 square feet). The exterior has a few very large diameter pieces of wood.Loveridge Woodcraft NZ Tokomaru Bay 4A.jpgIt is built right into New Zealand’s  natural landscape.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.

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For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item Video menu. 

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Cordwood Cottage in Tlaxcala, Mexico

Mario Alberto Bastida Vargas sent these lovely photos of his cordwood building project in the forests of Nanacamilpa, Tlaxcala, Mexico.   Here are some of the details.  He used red cedar and white cedar for the cordwood infill. The posts are white cedar. The beams are Oyamel wood and Pino Ocote.

Mario Alberto Bastida Vargas 9.jpg

The stone and masonry work is very attractive.

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The adobe block bricks are used for the bathroom.

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The interior is comfortable and inviting.

Mario Alberto Bastida Vargas 5Mario has completed some other cordwood work for the Nature Sanctuary at Canto del Bosque in Mexico, like the bath house (below).Mario Alberto Bastida Vargas 11.jpg

The bathhouse was built a few years ago.  The mountains in the distance certainly add to the ambience of the site.   There is now a large round celebration pavilion made partially with cordwood near the bathhouse.

Mario in Mexico 5.jpg

Mario in Mexico 1.jpgMario used my favorite mortar recipe of 3 masons sand, 2 soaked softwood sawdust, 1 Type S hydrated lime and 1 portland cement.  He is very pleased with the results.

The Canto del Bosque Nature Sanctuary can be contacted at the following link.

 https://www.facebook.com/santuario.delasluciernagasnanacamilpa/

Cordwood Construction Best Practices is in English and although the pictures are worth a thousand words, it can be translated in any language using Google Translate (which is free).  Simply copy and paste text into the program and select the language.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.

DVD label cover yellow.jpg

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item Video menu. 

DVD Menu 1A 400 pixels

DVD menu 2A 400 pixels.jpg

 

Cordwood at Kinstone Permaculture Academy

Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture rests gently upon a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.  The largest megalithic stone circle in North America, a walking labyrinth, rolling hills, a tepee, a yurt, a reflecting pond, permaculture plantings and three cordwood buildings accent the landscape.  Kinstone  low rez with logo.jpgThe cordwood chapel is a hexagonal structure with 12′ walls and 16″ cedar infill.  It has 450 bottle bricks embedded in the walls, creating a homage to the natural world. Kinstone cordwood chapel interiorBelow is Brother Sun and the flora and fauna of the grassy plains. The sunrise wall flowers stems dragonfly low rez with logo.jpgMany workshops were held at Kinstone and hundreds of participants placed logs, stones and bottles into the walls. Kinstone snowball testThe sturdy stone foundation is gneiss (nice) stone from central Wisconsin. workshop 37aThe Mississippi River runs through the building (symbolically).  Kinstone walls with logoThere is also a cordwood sauna on site that doubles as a guest cottage.

 

Cordwood workshop sauna 6.jpgIt was also a labor of love with many workshop participants.  Kinstone sauna 1 with logoThe interior feels warm and comforting. Kinstone workshop 2017 4The Dragon’s Den, an entrance center with a living roof, awaits eager visitors.  Kinstone Dragons Keep 1There are many dragons embedded in the walls.  Kinstone Dragons Keep 3A rich kaleidoscope of colors greets the welcomed guest.  Kinstone Dragon 3A                            Mandalas are an integral part of the buildings.  Mandalas offer balancing visual elements, symbolizing unity and harmony.

Kinstone is filled with good energy and good vibrations.  If you are in the Winona, Minnesota area (this is right across the Mississippi River in Fountain City, Wisconsin) it is worth a visit.  There is a self guided map at the Entrance Center to make sure you know where to go.  http://www.kinstonecircle.com/

If you wish to take a cordwood workshop, click on the Kinstone Courses menu.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.

DVD label cover yellow.jpg

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item Video menu. 

DVD Menu 1A 400 pixels

DVD menu 2A 400 pixels.jpg

Rubble Trench: The Basics

What is the one thing that will destroy a conventional foundation?  Water (freezing, thawing and heaving).  Frank Lloyd Wright (among others) figured out a way to move water away from the foundation.  He called it a Rubble Trench.  It is basically a trench dug around the perimeter of the proposed foundation, which then has drain tile sloped to “daylight.”  The idea is that the weight of the foundation will be spread out and the water will be funneled away.  Before you dig, it is important to remove all the organic matter (grass, weeds, roots and topsoil) from the foundation site.  Use a backhoe or dig it by hand?  Your choice.  Kurt dug his entire rubble trench by hand.Rubble trench 1 by Kurt Leslie.jpgDigging by hand provides a good workout.    Machinery helps if you have roots and big rocks to move or you just want to expedite your project.  Rubble trench with backhoe and drain tileThe drain tile has gravel below and on top.   It is then tamped.  Rubble trench 2 by Kurt LeslieA rubble trench lowers the cost of your building project:  Excavation, fill, and materials (gravel rather than a concrete footer or blocks) are reduced.  rubble trench 5The center is filled with sand and the perimeter is tamped. Rubble trench with slab on top by Kurt LeslieIt can be topped with a FPSF (Frost Protected Shallow Foundation), or a Grade Beam (below).Novitch sauna 9A grade beam.jpgOr the sill plates for the foundation can be made from naturally rot resistant, pressure treated or fire treated wood.  Irish Cottage Garden Shed.jpgCreativity is only limited by your imagination.

Marie Conner-Glenfield  cordwood shed with logo.jpgOne schematic of a rubble trench (there are many variations).

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This rendering is an architectural rendering of how the rubble trench, foundation, cordwood and roof all tie in together.

Foundation Rubble Trench with FPSF.jpgBefore you start on any building project you should consult with qualified experts to make sure you are using the correct materials and load calculations.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.

DVD label cover yellow.jpg

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item Video menu. 

DVD Menu 1A 400 pixels

DVD menu 2A 400 pixels.jpg

Cordwood Cottage Garden Shed (recycled)

Tom & Mary Barchacky built this beautiful cottage garden shed in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  The entire building was made with recycled materials.  For example: the shake shingles were repurposed from a garage.  The large front window came from a dumpster in an alley in Milwaukee.Barchacky cottage garden shed 4The Eastern Red Cedar cordwood infill was destined to become firewood and was donated by a arborist neighbor.  The front door was nicely handcrafted from materials lying about the Barchacky garage. Barchacky Garden Cottage by Richard Flatau 2The green side door came from a second hand building store.  The timbers were reclaimed from an old barn. Barchacky Garden Cottage by Richard Flatau 1This lovely cottage garden shed was inspired by the D. Stiles book Sheds.  The Barchacky’s spent an afternoon at an open house at our cordwood home in Merrill. Then we communicated through phone and email. Barchacky GARDEN COTTAGE door hand madeThe red center of Eastern Red Cedar is very attractive and smells like a hope chest. Barchacky GARDEN COTTAGE 5 small pixI asked the editor of Backhome Magazine if he would like to have an article about this DIY project.  The rest, as they say, is history!  Barchacky Cover of Backhome 102 600 pixels.jpg

This became one of the most popular articles in Backhome’s history and has been used extensively in their advertising.  The entire article is reprinted with permission.  http://www.cordwoodconstruction.org/img/Backhome_article_Barchacky_shed.pdf

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This is a close up of the truss derrick they built to place the hand-made trusses on the top plates.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

DVDandPrint

Here is a picture of the print version and the DVD label in one composite.

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Cordwood, Cardboard & Bottle Ends

What do cordwood, cardboard and bottle ends have in common?Kinstone Dragon 3

They all help make an organized, dramatic, visual statement in a cordwood wall. Let’s say you want a rainbow or a peace sign or the big dipper in a cordwood wall. Here’s one way to do it.  First lay out the design on heavy cardboard.  Then cut out the shapes with a scissors, box cutter or exacto knife. Mandala and cardboard 1Use the cardboard template as a tool to place the bottle bricks and log ends in their proper places.

Mandala and cardboard 2Be patient and let the design be your guide to proper orientation.

Mandala and cardboard 3The end result is worth the extra time.

How about a peace sign?Peace sign cordwood with logo.jpg

 

Novitch workshop 1a.jpgAn Ojibwe medicine wheel is a fine addition to this sauna of health & healing. Novitch shed 30The Big Dipper and North Star are happy to oblige. Big Dipper wall #2.jpgWood ceilings, Big Dipper, Encore Wood Stove and some taxidermy.  This gives very attractive woodsy feel to the room. CEC stove and big dipper wall logo.jpg

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

DVDandPrint

Here is a picture of the print version and the DVD label in one composite.

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Cordwood “Dragon’s Keep” Welcomes Guests @Kinstone

The Entrance Center at Kinstone Permaculture Academy is called the Dragon’s Keep. Nineteen dragons reside within its walls, including the 15 foot beast undulating along in the wall.   This project has been ongoing and we finally made the big push to finish. Besides all the wonderful folk who put their heart and soul into the beginnings, we had twenty-three intrepid souls, brave the cold rainy spring weather to put on the finishing touches.  [Thank you to Kristine for the delightful pictures.]  Kinstone Dragon 4(Above)The 15 foot dragon has a dark green eye (far left), scales (triangle bottles) and a tiny set of wings (trapezoidal windows).  The Eastern Red Cedar is apparent in the red tinged pieces of cordwood.  The belly is a 4 foot piece of horizontal White Cedar.Kinstone Dragon 3

(Above) The mandala was created two years ago using cardboard for a template (see below). This is the brightest it has ever shined.  I think it likes having the building completed.  The dragon’s belly was previously positioned and placed.

Kinstone workshop 2The mandala was cut out of a large piece of cardboard to enhance accuracy. Kinstone workshop 9

Kinstone Dragon 10The group (above) worked diligently on April 29.   The group (below) feasted off the first groups’ hard work and completed the final rows of cordwood on April 30.  Kinstone Dragon 5A pewter dragon brings out a delightful smile from our Canadian kindergarten teacher,  Erin. Kinstone Dragon 9Dressing in layers is important for staying comfortable outside.  The bandana is useful as a dust mask and neck warmer for 39 windy degrees! Kinstone Dragon 13Having a heated classroom to eat and discuss Best Practices with cordwood was wonderful and comfortable. Kinstone Dragon 11We have an 8″ fence wall that we are laying out for a motif between the living roof post and beam framework.   It provided fun instruction in a group setting.  Everybody learned by eyeballing each other’s work!

Kinstone Dragon 7

Normally we use 16 inch cordwood in order to achieve an R-value of 24, but on the fence/wall we are using 8″ cordwood and insulating it to give workshop participants a visual reminder to build a thermal break for their home building, all the while using best practices.  M-I-M stands for mortar-insulation-mortar.  Kinstone Dragon 6

A fine row of cordwood and bundled up cordwooders!

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Two of our participants from Rhinelander, Wisconsin (Kerry and Cecelia) placed the mythical Hodag into the wall using glass beads.Kinstone Dragon 14As luck would have it, two baby goats were born during the Sunday workshop. Named Peanut and Butter.  Everyone got a chance to cuddle the new borns.  They are very, very sweet animals.

Kinstone Dragon 19.jpgKinstone Dragon 16

Becky and Christy are smitten by the baby goat (Peanut).

Kinstone Dragon 17

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

DVDandPrint

Here is a picture of the print version and the DVD label in one composite.

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Cordwood Fishing Lodge in Russia

Andrew Dubovskiy (who lives in Moscow, Russia) was kind enough to send me these photos. This is his fishing lodge called “Andre-sur-Mer.” It is basically a small fishing cabin with a beautiful view of a deep bay on the White Sea (isn’t that what everyone wants!) Andrew also “hid” the cabin into the hillside. Here are his own words about his “hut.”

Andrew Dubovskiy 5.jpg“The status is “fisherman lodge.” According to ancient maritime traditions – a refuge for those who need it. I (like many correct houses) left a bag of soup, half a bottle of rice, oil, matches, flour, frying pan, saucepan.

And those houses that are still alive (many collapsed) is used in the White Sea by fishermen and tourists. There are several inhabited “hotels”.Andrew Dubovskiy 9Andrew Dubovskiy 6I want to try a few little known and virtually non-applicable in the Russian technology of designing and building such structures, see what happens.

The final version of the hut to be quite fit for winter.Andrew Dubovskiy winter 3Andrew Dubovskiy winter 2Andrew Dubovskiy winter 1

Andrew Dubovskiy 8.jpgThere has to be a decent “thermos” in my estimation and sufficiently efficient heating. Certainly in times better than the houses that I have seen in all the banks of White sea. But this is theory — the practical realization of the idea is not so close.

Andrew Dubovskiy 3

Wintering is not in my plans)) Although, by the way, actually my travel gear allows wintering in a tent in the cold like -40. Actually on the ice of Lake Baikal I felt quite comfortable for a month. A hut will be better then any tent without heating in the middle of ice.”Andrew Dubovskiy 13.jpgA big thank you to Inna Savitskaya for help with the translation.
For additional pictures and comments please visit Andrew’s Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/andrew.dubovskiy/media_set…

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

DVDandPrint

Here is a picture of the print version and the DVD label in one composite.

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org

 

Cordwood flooring moves outdoors in Slovakia

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