33’ (10m) Roundhouse with Open-air 2nd Story

33’ (10m) Roundhouse with optional Open-air 2nd Story (click to enlarge)
33’ (10m) Roundhouse with optional Open-air 2nd Story (click to enlarge)

The blog post about my Hobbit House plan with second story open-air deck (scroll down to the fifth design) was very popular and so I decided to offer the same feature on my 33’ Roundhouses – both one and two bedroom versions. The concept is very simple – it’s easy to stay comfortable in hot climates if you’re in the shade with a breeze. It’s easier to catch breezes on a second story open-air patio than on the ground. Plus you’d have good views from the deck. This idea could prove so popular that soon you’re sleeping upstairs, and then you move your laptop, desk, mini-fridge, lounge chairs and other comforts of home. You might want to install a dumbwaiter to hoist food and other items more easily.

So how is the lower roof built? (I knew you were going to ask.) The best idea I’ve thought of so far is bend steel pipe to the appropriate angle and embed it in the suspended slab floor. 3” steel pipe should work fine if embedded about 2’ in the concrete. Galvanized pipe would last longer in tropical climates. Run bamboo, saplings, etc. perpendicular to the pipe to support the thatch. I highly recommend thatch panels to speed construction. (One day for installation versus weeks of work.) Note in the drawing how everything is sized so the thatch doesn’t block the view from windows. Also note, I went with a 9’ ceiling and screened transom vents above doors and windows to improve ventilation.

More information:
33′ (10m) Roundhouse – 2 Bedroom
33′ (10m) Roundhouse – 1 Bedroom

4 thoughts on “33’ (10m) Roundhouse with Open-air 2nd Story”

    • This open-air style is getting quite a bit of positive feedback, maybe because you get a lot (double floor space) for not too much extra time and money. I’d consider building one for me with the lower roof to protect the earthbag walls.

  1. I really should leave a comment. This is as close to my perfect (thai)home as it gets.

    But I have some questions.
    A roof with 10m diameter, how heavy would it be. Is it going to require heavy machinery(large crane) or extra strength in the lower wall?

    Would the roof be lighter if it was build as a geodesic half dome in bamboo+thatch ( http://www.desertdomes.com/bamboo.html ). Maybe some other material at the top where the runoff angle might be to low.

    How do one connect the poles to the roof and to the lower wall to make it stable?(ok, the roof part might be just nails/bolts/brackets)

    Two thumbs up for this design. (I would use more thumbs if I had)

    Oh and a great picture my girlfriend found: http://www.dedon.de/en/collections/catalog/cm.html#/22

    • Glad you like it. No problem with the roof weight. Earthbag walls can support about 10x more than wood framed walls. This roof is lightweight — just poles and thatch. Build the roof one pole at a time same as my earthbag roundhouse.

      Connect the roof poles to the beam with hurricane ties. The beam is bolted to the posts. The posts are attached to lower walls with post anchors. In other words, everything is very standard.


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