This Carriage House was initially designed to create garage and shop space,
as well as office and storage space for the designer's personal use. There is
potentially about 900 s.f. of usable floor area on two stories. It is a hybrid
design, utilizing earthbags plastered with papercrete, a steel prefabricated
Quonset-style vault, concrete floor, and wood-framed end walls. Since the steel
vault is completely covered with insulating earthbags, the building is very
well insulated, and comfortable year-round. This concept could be converted
to residential use, with the addition of kitchen and bathroom functions, and
the steel interior finish could be covered with scored sheetrock, tongue &
grooved wood, or even cloth. This is rather inexpensive way to create substantial
shelter. This design is based on a fairly small (16' X 34') steel building,
but these structures are available in a wide range of widths ( up to sizes fit
for aircraft hangers), and the lengths can be indefinite, since it is just a
matter of adding more arched sections to lengthen the building.
The first floor houses the garage, shop, and some storage functions.
There is a separate entry door, as well as the garage door entry. Initially,
the design was modified to be able to garage a small RV (with greater height),
but the plans as provided would only accommodate standard sized automobiles,
pick ups or vans. If the building is oriented with the glass end wall facing
south, significant solar gain can be attained (in this case it might be advantageous
to provide a solar shade over the window to shade it during the summer. The
staircase to the second floor is rather narrow (about 2 feet) because it must
fit between the two-foot intervals of the joist/ties.
The second floor has 6' 7" of head room in the center, and
this diminishes toward the sides. The significant counter space utilizes areas
where standing room is not available. The front office area has plenty of natural
light from the southern windows, which can also be opened to provide ventilation
through to the northern window. The steel vault is exposed for a "techno"
style finish, but this could be altered, as explained above. A solid wall with
doors provides separation between the office and the substantial storage area
beyond. In the photo steps can be seen leading to the storage area because of
the raised area to accommodate the height of the RV on the first floor, but
this would not be the case with the plan as presented.
cross section shows the hybrid nature of this design. In order to gain height,
the steel shell is erected on top of an earthbag stem wall, and then the earthbags
continue on up over the building. The double columns of the stem wall provides
thermal mass on the inside and insulation on the outside. An insulated concrete
pad is poured for the shop/garage floor. The second floor joists and tie beams
are essential elements of the design, since they resist deformation of the vault
from all of the weight on it.
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Downloadable PDF file of plans*
2 sets of construction plans*
Extra sets of plans
(only available with the purchase of above)
*These plans include all four elevations, scaled floor plans, cross section
details, other significant construction details.
All digital files will be delivered via email attachments within 24 hours after purchase.