Simon Dale is a family man in Wales, the western part of Great Britain. His interest in self-sustainability and ecological awareness led him to dig out and build his own home—one of the loveliest, warmest, most inviting dwellings you could ever imagine.
And it cost him only £3,000, about $4,700 American dollars! His second reason is a plea for sustainability, in which he states that “our supplies are dwindling and our planet is in ecological catastrophe”. You can read the full and passionate statement here!
Simon is also a photographer, and as you can see throughout this article, a talented one. The tools are fairly simple. The main concession to modernity was a chainsaw, which he used to cut down about 30 small trees. No old-growth forest fell to his family’s needs. He focused on tools that used his own energy, like a shovel, chisel, and hammer. Yet it took him only four months to produce this lovely home.
The home is constructed from wood, stone, straw, and has a sod roof. It’s heated with a wood fireplace and has a solar panel for power. Most materials were scavenged and refurbished appliances. The effect, though, isn’t of a run-down get-by-with-second-best. It’s creative, artistic, elegant, and cozy. It is, in fact, magical.
Most amazingly, the home didn’t require years of training or experience. Simon had none. He’s not an architect. He’s not an engineer. He’s not a carpenter. He started from scratch in every sense. He told the Daily Mail: Building from natural materials does away with producers’ profits and the cocktail of carcinogenic poisons that fill most modern buildings.
He was fortunate in obtaining the land for his home. The plot, a bit of a large piece, was given to him in exchange for its caretaking. Simon Dale, his wife Jasmine Saville, and their two children in front of their completed home just 4 months after starting it! This and all photos on this page are by Simon Dale.
A compost toilet, straw insulation over a plastic layer for insulation, and a refrigerator chilled by air that flows from beneath the home’s foundation are all examples of the home’s eco-friendly features. Because cement emits a lot of carbon, the inside walls are completed using lime plaster rather than cement plaster. Simon is now working on a new home for the Lammas Project.
a non-profit dedicated to low-impact construction. The emphasis is not only on the homes themselves, but also on tree and garden planting, as well as low-impact living in general. This is how he describes his feelings about his home and the Lammas Project: I can’t think of a more beautiful, inviting, or livable home than this one. This might, and should, be the wave of the future when it comes to home construction.
For more information about Simon Dale’s home, plans, and more photos, please go to his website, A Low Impact Woodland Home.