Triple Roundhouse Cluster

Owen Geiger, Designer

Partial Section

This design connects three sloped roof roundhouses and adjoining closets to create a unique roundhouse cluster design that is earth-sheltered on three sides – east, west and north – with a sunny courtyard on the south. The 16′ bedroom domes are shown without furniture to highlight how they can be used as home offices, studios, etc. This design features 6′ French doors and tall arched windows in each roundhouse, large walk-in closets, high exposed wood ceilings and exceptional energy performance. With the addition of a few features such as ceiling fans, heat recovery ventilation, solar panels and solar hot water heat, this design would meet zero energy standards. Round earthbag structures are inherently stronger than rectilinear designs, and the heavy timber roof provides exceptional strength as well. 785 sq. ft. interior, 2 bedroom, 1 bath; footprint: 28′ x 58′ plus buttresses.

Floor Plan

The Plans for Sale

These plans are available as digital PDF files or AutoCAD files and are offered by Dr. Owen Geiger as complete and ready to build from. They include necessary elevations, floorplans, cross section details, and other significant construction details; they don’t show every view, every detail — just enough to build. They do not include electrical and plumbing details. The section views explain how everything goes together and should answer your questions about materials. The plans are scaled and dimensioned.

It is the buyer’s responsibility to find out special requirements, such as what alternative building is allowed in your county or what you have to do to get houses permitted. Are there special requirements for foundations, etc.? Do they require an engineer or architect to stamp the plans? It might be a good idea to know these things before ordering plans.

The AutoCAD version is the same as the PDF version, just in a format that can be read by AutoCAD software or other software that reads .dwg files. We recommend buying the AutoCAD version if you plan to have a professional architect or engineer read or make changes to the plan. This may be necessary in some jurisdictions that require state-licensed architects or engineers to stamp plans before they will be acceptable. Or if you want another professional to make some custom changes to Owen’s stock plans, then AutoCAD version may be the way to¬† go. If you would like both the PDF and the AutoCAD versions, then just indicate this when you purchase the AutoCAD version and they both will be sent for the price of the AutoCAD file.

This plan is offered with a free copy of Owen’s popular Earthbag Building Guide e-book.

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PDF Digital Plans
(computer renderings)


AutoCAD files

5 thoughts on “Triple Roundhouse Cluster”

  1. Because the bedrooms are offset from the main room, the shed roofs should overlap, making it possible to do the main room first (to use as a studio cabin initially), and then one can subsequently build on the other two loops, I would imagine.

    My main concern would be in how to tie the walls together. Ideally, wouldn’t we want to lap in the bedroom walls to the main room wall? Would it be possible to insert a perpendicular bag into every other course along the main room wall, with a wood block or something to hold the space until the bedroom walls could be built out?

  2. Do you think this design would be suitable for a first time builder? I imagine that one of the bedroom domes could be built first and the other sections could be built the following year. However, the shed roof would be difficult to build at separate times.

    • All of my plans are basic enough for first time owner-builders if they first build a tool shed or something equivalent to learn the steps. Many plans such as this one can be built in stages as you suggest. Shed roofs are the easiest type of roof to build.


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