It’s an actual house in Wales, owned and built by Simon Dale. It is intended to be a low environmental impact home.
The design and idea behind it is really quite cool.
Simon has set up a website that goes over the process of building the house and the purpose of it. There are also some tips and idea’s for anyone who is wanting their own piece of the Shire.
There is also an interesting idea growing off of this house that is known as Lammas, or Lammas Low Impact Initiatives Ltd. The idea behind this is to create an entire self-sustainable village. The idea is great. Whether it will work successfully or not beyond the initial generations involved is a good question.
As far as I can see, the houses themselves are not really any more or less environmentally friendly than any other house except that they become part of the hills and are built using all natural materials rather than anything treated or fired, such as bricks, treated pine etc. that may use processes which aren’t environmentall friendly.
I may be mistaken, I didn’t see anything about it in what I read, but it looks like they still use power, and possibly natural gas for all of the same things they are used for in any other house.
The way I understand it, they are aiming to be self sustainable, particularly in the Lammas commune. However, the way I see it, virtually any house with a yard can do this, to a degree, anyway. Just about anyone can grow enough vegetables to sustain their vegetable needs, or keep chickens for eggs, and so on.
It looks like they are using or planning to use solar panels for power, again these can really be setup on just about any house.
If everyone were to be producing a large portion of their own food it would have an effect on a capitalist economy as it would affect the jobs of a lot of people, farmers, butchers, bakers etc. However, if things like solar panels were much more commonplace on houses everywhere, could this not significantly reduce carbon emissions and reduce the need for coal and gas fired power stations?
There is a massive amount of surface area on the houses all over the world, even just in the developed countries there is a vast wealth of space on the roofs of houses and other buildings, it would be ideal to use as much of it as possible would it not?
I understand that not all houses and buildings are ideally situated for maximum exposure to the sun and are often planned to avoid getting the full intensity of it, but surely their roofs could still be used. Even if they are not producing enough electricity to be self sufficient, it would still help to reduce the heavy reliance on other dirtier sources of power.
I digress though, the original point of the blog is how much this house looks like the Hobbit houses in the Shire famous from the Lord of the Rings. Just in case you forgot.