Yesterday’s blog post was about the foam glass insulation we plan to use on the Wiki Natural House. Today we’re giving a sneak peak (first draft) of the foundation design. The primary design considerations are low cost, owner-builder friendly, minimal cement, must withstand cold and wet climate (insulation is key), must align with thick straw bale walls and meet UK building codes. That’s a pretty tall order. Many of my designs are for rural areas with few or no codes. In this case, we have to put a little more effort into workable solutions.
If you spend enough time you can find almost anything now for free on the Internet. Jason has been sending me one good tip after another. He recommended Strawworks.com in the UK for their detail drawings. They’re world famous for their expertise in strawbale building. Visit their site to see their code approved rammed tire foundation detail drawing and other excellent drawings, photos and more. Note: I still prefer gravel bag foundations for their speed and ease of construction, however, it can be challenging getting them permitted in areas with building codes.
What about using tires for foundations? In my opinion, earthbags are superior for foundations and walls. If you’re not convinced of this, tamp one tire (the way it’s supposed to be done, which takes 20 minutes or so). Then tamp the equivalent (in cubic inches) in earthbags and see for yourself which is easier. But … Read more