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Owner: Maureen Corrigan and Sean Flanagan


Web site:

Type of building (home, cottage, studio, cabin): home and greenhouse/workshop

Construction method (load-bearing, post and beam, hybrid): load bearing

Square footage: 2300

Stories: two

Stage of completion: Hoping to have final inspection approval by October

Date of occupancy: February 2005

Other unique systems/features of the building: Off-grid, cylindrical house with metal grain bin roof, use of passive solar gain and solar heat collection and thermal storage, radiant floor heat

Builder (owner, contractor, both): owner built with plaster sub-contractor

Designer: owner


Engineered components: Bruce Grant stamped my plans for the house and greenhouse and the roof system was engineered by Living Design Systems

Volunteer participation: Family and friends have been very, very generous with their time (especially, my brother Bill)

Length of time to build: 7 months to move in, another 7 months is the target for finishing the details

Foundation method and material(s): Slab on grade (elevated the slab approx. 3 feet to get drainage to septic), 18 inch footings for bale walls, 12 inch footings for interior load bearing walls

Roofing method and material(s): grain bin roof modified for residential

Bale wall style: bales laid flat, curved walls, load-bearing

Notes on bale walls (ie, pinned or not, mesh, framing material/style): walls not pinned, mesh used only at interface of wood and straw, inside walls are staw bale as well as regular 2x4 stick walls

Plastering methods/materials: 2 coats structural stucco, 1 coat finish stucco with pigment. Lime/cement plaster.

Other insulation materials: Roxul underwindow bucks, 4 inches of styrofoam under slab, 12 inches of blown-in cellulose in roof

Window style/materials: 18 wide bucks made from 2x6 and 3/4" plywood; features a bank of 12 large windows on the south side of the house for passive solar gain; windows are fiberglas frame, krypton filled, with a variety of coatings and thickness depending on orientation (north, south, etc.)

Heat source(s): solar flat plate collectors and a thermal storage area

Cooling source(s): Shading

Electrical source/system: solar / wind

Water collection/distribution system: rain water collected in a cistern and filtered and UV treated on site

Sewage collection/disposal system: septic tank, use of dual flush toilets


Cost for per square foot: About $55 not including energy systems, $75 including energy systems

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