So Teresa and I have done a lot of work studying housing layouts and we decided that the roundhouse design that we liked won’t be the most comfortable or economical. We also decided that since most of the house will be straw-bale and not cob (as we had planned) that it makes sense to square the place off more.
To the left is a (not to scale) look at what the first floor will look like.
As you can see the master bedroom is in the north-west corner. The room will be bermed completely on the north and partially on the west. As we are looking to build in an urban neighborhood and nearly to the limits of the property we will have a house on the west side that will provide a great deal of shade during the summer.
Our plan is to have radiant floors and a masonry stove with a baking oven built into it but to forgo mechanical air conditioning for at least the first year. That was the plan before too but this design will not include the high ceilings or cupola that the roundhouse had included. Both of those features would have helped carry the heat up and out of the house. We’re hopeful that the high insulative value of the bale walls, the mass of the cob walls, the living roofs, the earthen floors, and trees growing around the house will help to minimize the interior heat. If it gets too bad we might consider a window air-conditioner.