If you built a conventional home that is one-third the size (say 130 square metres) of the madness described on the ‘Designing and building small’ page, out of conventional unsustainable materials, your building will obviously be far more sustainable. However, if you now choose to build the 130 square metre home from rubble trench footing, earthen floors, strawbale walls rendered with clay, and a roof made from bamboo with recycled corrugated iron, now you are talking.
Now if you decide to build several small pavilions and join them together with covered, and in some cases enclosed, walkways you will be able to use the low cost method of loadbearing strawbale walls. I would suggest that each pavilion is less than 50 square metres each.
You now need to look at what you need from a home. Without the use of a designer or architect you can start to plan your own home without someone else influencing your dream. Once you have established your needs then use a draftsperson or architect to draw up your plans for council approval. First of all make a wish list as follows.
Print the table below alter it to suit your needs, then fill it in. See which rooms you can live without. You may be surprised at the results. I hope the table helps with your planning.