THE LIBERTY HOUSE
The Liberty house, I believe, will prove to
be a revolutionary concept providing more than just shelter.
Many of its inhabitant's
survival needs, including clean water, food, warmth and protection from the
elements can be obtained living within its shell, even during extreme natural or economic
disruptions. Physically able persons can either manually by themselves, or with
the aid of machines and friends, build their homes with minimal instruction
and cost. Eventually such structures can be built to order, or purchased
already completed, for far less than what standard construction normally costs.
The concepts lend themselves to many types of buildings for a variety of uses,
many different sizes, and almost unlimited design. It is easy to imagine a whole
community of such homes and 'common' buildings, nestled in the environment
without undue disturbance to other forms of life.
Conventional earth sheltered homes normally cost more to build than conventional above ground structures. For the first time, all the many advantages of invulnerability to wind, fire, earthquake and noise can be obtained at significantly less cost. A person or family wishing to forgo the standard 9 to 5 job away from home, will be aided in reaching a degree of independence never before considered possible.
The unique method of
construction allows for wide variety of design and personal expression.
southern face of the house can be designed in enumerable ways with a modern or
conventional appearance. These illustrations picture the model I soon expect to
build featuring a bell-shaped greenhouse at the front entrance. This
glazed area will, at times, help warm the interior of the house and the
huge earthen heat storage bank surrounding the structure. The air-convecting
aerodynamic shape of the greenhouse serves several novel functions as do many
features of the house.
The windowed "goblet" that located in the center of the domed living area helps to illuminate some of the rooms, heats water, and even provides distilled water when desired. This house will also have sheltered areas for livestock, easily assessable and maintained.
The Living room area of this home not only allows for a wide variety of activities, it sometimes seems to be alive itself, a true 'living' room. The indoor pool remains at room temperature (unless one wishes it warmer). When the air becomes too dry, rain can fall, tropical fruits may grow, and changing patterns of light mark out the time of day and season of the year. Left to itself, the room temperature stays at a constant 70 degrees F. year round, or fine tuned when desired, without the use of any commercial source of energy. Based on some projections, hopefully this structure will also provide it's own electrical power using a combination of natural sources. The rainbow colored cantilevered panels are actually portals to other areas of the house.
THE LIBERTY HOUSE is formed in the earth, using sculpted and mounded earth as a reverse mold. Gunite and regular Portland cement mix is shot or poured over the domed and free-form sculpted soil and sand, and allowed to set. The earth is removed from under the concrete shell and placed on top. More earth is bermed over the structure, then the entire mass is covered with an umbrella of bead-board and polyethylene sheeting. The water-shedding, insulating umbrella is itself then covered with more earth, upon which vegetation and ground-cover of varied specie is sown and grown.
If heavy equipment is unavailable, or unaffordable, the entire construction process can be done by hand, wheel-barrow and shovel. It is surprising how much dirt can be moved in a short time by only one person. Of course, several persons, or a Bob Cat type back-hoe/front-end loader, a power conveyor belt, or for very large buildings, even huge earthmovers, will get jobs done quicker, and with fewer aching muscles. Many environments and situations will count labor-intensive activity as a positive benefit, rather than a burden. There are few localities where adjustments cannot be made to allow such a structure to be built. Very little lumber material is needed for forms or framing. Perhaps soon, even energy-expensive Portland cement will soon no longer be required to build a Liberty house, or any other structure created according to these principles, whatever it's name, wherever it's location. More about that later. Do you have any ideas?
"Dirt-cheap" housing, meeting survival needs, and providing a wide range of healthful, aesthetic and art-full environments may soon be a reality for anyone who desires. This is not just a dream, this is here, now. A gift from the Creator. The Earth, the Sun and all the laws of nature, all available for responsible use.
With the freedom, health and time gained for it's inhabitants, new goals may be found, and reached. Learning to blend in harmoniously with the earth and it's other creatures is an actual attainable goal. Shelter from the elements, warmth in the winter, coolness in the summer, food, clean water, and even free energy to power the gadgets and tools of today and tomorrow. Storms may blow, temperature records may fall, earthquakes may shake, but these homes may be the safest place to be. Someday soon, if we are wise, they may even be free for the making. Is this visionary or what? I think it is just around the corner, because we are going to do it. Want to help? Maybe you have ideas for your own dream house you would share with us.
Gerald Brittell, January 1998 e-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org