This first house is being built with a lava rock and concrete mix. The insulating and thermal properties are not really known yet. I guess he just likes the stuff. It seemed easy to mold in to pillars and decorative designs. He added detail of a feather on the roof and there were other sculptural pieces around the property. Seemed kind of cold and castle-like but maybe when it is finished it will look more inviting.
Here's a closer look at the wall and windows.
I'm not sure how much this solar system cost but I am thinking around $30k.
The next house was for sale. It was built with ICP's (Insulated concrete panels) with SIP's (structural insulated panels) for the roof. He had a solar hot water system which also ran through the floor and heated the concrete in the winter. I hear that is a very nice feature to have.
ICP's are on the left. They are assembled with just the foam and wire mesh. Once the walls are all up they are sprayed with gunnite (concrete) on both sides. The SIP's on the right are foam with OSB (oriented strand board) on each side. They were used on the roof.
I liked the color of the stained concrete floors but there was a lot of floor space and it was overwhelming. I wouldn't want that much concrete. I definitely don't want to mop that much concrete!
And the last house was a rammed earth home under construction. I didn't find this style very appealing. I have seen other rammed earth houses that use different colors of earth and look much nicer.
Here's a closer look at the rammed earth wall.
And another look from the inside.
And I just had to get a picture of his chickens. He had a huge garden and the chickens roamed where ever they pleased.
It was another interesting day and I learned about new building techniques. My boss kept asking me what kind of house I want to build and when I am going to build it. I like the SIPs but they are more expensive. Right now I don't think I need a house. I definitely don't need a big house. I can just wrap my shed in insulation and I will be as happy as a bug in a ... shed.