We reviewed Ben Law’s first book, THE WOODLAND WAY, a while back. In fact it was one of the things that inspired me to start this web site, along with “Off the Grid” from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales.
Now Ben as brought out a detailed record of the building of his home. THE WOODLAND HOUSE has all the virtues of his first book, but is more accessible, more focused and more useful — at least useful to anyone who is thinking of building a timber framed house.
The book combines sufficient detail so that you could copy his design, with an emotional warmth that lets you know the sort of person Ben is and how much this building means to him.
The timber is Chestnut, hewn from his own woodland. He infilled the frame with local straw bales and plastered them with his own clay and locally sourced lime. The roof was made from Chestnut shingles and the weatherboard is local hand milled oak.
He built the whole structure for 28,000 (under $50,000) with no crane but with the help of local volunteers — it helps to be a local hero.
His electricity comes from sun and wind – his heat from wood and solar hot water panels, and his water from a spring and the sky.
The books includes Engineers calculations, detailed floor plans and a list of resources so that if you live in the UK and own the right kind of plot, you too can build a Woodland House.
There is a forward by Kevin McCloud, presenter of the Grand Designs TV series that brought Ben Law to national prominence.
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site
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