A Dream Modern Green Affordable Village Home You can Build in just 3 Days
Updated: Jun 17, 2019
Building a Shire of my own…
I had been to a friend’s house recently. It was stylish and beautiful, filled with soft carpets, comfortable furniture, state-of-the-art utility equipment and glass walls that let in the wonderful view of the valley… but unfortunately, it was sweltering hot inside.
Sure it will make a great photograph as it is attractive and pleasing but if you intend to live inside, you will need the air conditioning on all the time. Now that isn’t the most efficient means of conserving energy, is it?
The need to go green is no longer an option but a necessity. With the planet heating up, climate changing and energy resources depleting, the need for green building is upon us
Sadly, we sacrifice energy efficiency at the altar of style, beauty, and aesthetics – soaring ceilings that collect heat, ceiling to floor glass walls that gives a great view of the surroundings but increases the temperature within (especially if it faces west). The most common perception is that what is green cannot look good and what looks good cannot be energy efficient.
Let me break this conundrum for you.
Have you seen Lord of the Rings and the village of Hobbits where Frodo Baggins lives? (If you don’t do fantasy, then let me show you how it looked.)
Won’t you call it an idyllic village with lush green grass, flowers, trees, fruits, lots of sunshine, serene breeze and peace?
What if I told you that we could build hobbit homes for real, that is energy efficient, sturdy, durable, flexible and needs very less maintenance, not to mention earthquake resistant, hurricane resistant…. Does it sound too good to be true? Check out this green building conceptualized and developed by Green Magic Homes.
Green Village Homes
Green magic homes are built from Fiber Reinforced Polymer. Fiber Reinforced Polymer (Plastic) is a composite material made of a polymer matrix reinforced with fibres that are usually glass, carbon or aramid.
FRPs are extensively used in Aerospace, Automotive, Marine and Construction Industries. Off late FRPs are being increasingly considered as a substitute for infrastructure components such as concrete and steel. You might ask why? That’s because FRP Composites are lightweight, non-corrosive and have high tensile strength and specific stiffness that makes it easy to construct homes such as these.
Built entirely with FRP Composites, these hobbit homes are waterproof, mould and pest resistant. They are naturally illuminated and they use the oldest and cheapest sustainable building material available with us – our earth.
The basic structure of green magic homes can be set up within just three days as they are made of individual Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) that can be bolted together to make different types of watertight rooms or modules. The basic 400 square-foot structure is capable of housing a small kitchen, lounge, and a dining room.
Building these homes is an easy DIY that doesn’t require any special skill set. You can build it small or big depending upon your requirements. If you don’t want to use it as a home it can also be used as a – man den, guest room, garden room, a cave to meditate etc. The possibilities are endless.
Once the structure is put up, a layer of soil is used to cover it as insulation and the natural covering makes it possible to grow vegetables or foliage. Apart from the aesthetics (which is undeniably Tolkienesque) they help to keep the home warm in winter and cool in summer. In other words, you would literally be living under the ground!
How durable are these Green Homes?
The components of Green Magic Homes come with a perforated flap that allows you to screw and seal the vaults together. It helps to anchor the structure to the ground enabling faster insulation. With these components, you can build a single man den or a series rooms, as they are totally flexible to build.
What excites me about these homes is the durability factor. These green homes come with a high stabilization index that can withstand earthquakes, tornadoes. According to the manufacturers, these hobbit homes can withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of 10 on the Richer scale!
They are also known to resist the strong gale winds of a hurricane and what more they provide UV radiation protection too which makes these homes totally relevant to live in.
How to build a Hobbit Home?
I need to borrow Malcolm Wells’ (a pioneer of earth sheltered housing) to describe how an ideal green home should be – “A building should consume its own waste, maintain itself, match nature’s pace, provide wildlife habitat, moderate climate, and weather and be beautiful.”
As I explain how the magic green homes work, you will see how well the above maxim sits with these structures. Each of the hobbit homes comes earth berms on the side of the structure and the roof is fashioned to lend stability and strength.
The technology behind these magic homes is a combination of various methods of earth construction that lends stabilization to the structure through superadobe and geotextiles and helps to keep the living earth and vegetation covering of the structures. The earth embankments that are also known as buttress helps to keep the insulation in place and makes the structure a part of nature. After covering the structure with soil, the embankments and the top layer are wrapped in geo-textile fabric.
Geo Textile fabrics are used while building driveways, pavements etc. as they help reduce ruts and potholes. They also help reduce cracking and prolong the life of the road
The Geo-textile fabric helps to stabilize the earth that is deposited on top of the structure and nurtures the rooting action of plants and vegetation that makes this, a true hobbit’s home from the Shire.
The beauty of this green home is that wherever these homes are built they become one with nature and blend with it seamlessly – be it a desert, ice capes, rivers or gardens.
The structure of these green homes utilizes vault geometry and curves and the earth berms and roof cover adds to the thermal mass of the structure thus providing carbon recycling, oxygen production and also helps to remove airborne pollutants!
Easy to assemble, a basic hobbit home can be put up within three days. Once the components are assembled to form the basic shell, composite ducts, channels for electrical wiring, water pipes, and mechanical ventilation ducts can be added to them.
Solar and Wind Energy
The green magic homes are designed to be energy efficient units, therefore I was not surprised to learn that it was easy to fit in solar panels and wind turbines. And let me ask you this question? What could be more idyllic than living in a house covered by plants with your energy being powered by the ever shining sun and the wind?
I feel that the word ‘sustainable’ is being thrown in quite a lot these days and just by fitting in a solar panel or a wind turbine, the house doesn’t necessarily become a green building. True sustainability is made up of many different facets. It begins with the building materials that we use, the planning of water enabling complete reuse, renewable energy sources through solar panels, wind turbines, and rainwater harvesting.
I have seen many experimental green homes that have been built with sustainable materials but most of them have delivered questionable results. In most cases, the resultant structure was expensive which proves that they were not sustainable, to begin with.
I feel that these magic green homes cover all aspects of sustainability and the fact that we would be literally living underground in close proximity to nature makes this a very appealing prospect.
One of the best things about these hobbit homes is the infinite opportunity that it provides us. They can be used as a meditation retreat (if you know me, you will not find that surprising), playroom, green room, workshop, study room, garden room, office (I would like to build one) and a holiday home.
Connecting with Nature
I think that somewhere along the line, we lost the ability to live among nature. We started living in buildings and our surroundings soon became concrete jungles that don’t even offer us a glimpse of the day unless we stare through a glass wall. How often do you see the stars in the sky? How often do you step out to enjoy a gentle breeze?
I can hear a resounding ‘no’ for most of my questions and I am not surprised.
Today everything that comes from nature is dealt with great scepticism and suspicion. I pick up a fruit at the market and before I can take a bite out of it questions come swirling towards me,
“Is that organic?”
“Do you know that you have to wash that fruit for at least for half hour before you eat it?”
“Can I interest you in this wonderful product that has been invented just to wash off pesticides from the fruit that you hold?”
I lost my appetite and can’t even blame these people for it. In our quest to make things beautiful, stylish, lovely and wholesome we are actively destroying the very thing that makes it so – our planet.
We build beautiful homes that suck the energy from their surroundings. We grow fruits and vegetables but poison it with chemicals just so that they are insect free. I yearn for the day when I can just pluck a fruit and eat it without any of these questions coming my way and if I have to build a Shire to get my heart’s desire, I might just do that.
Innovate & Prosper, Krish Murali Eswar. email@example.com