Welcome to the Hillhouse, our Timber-frame, pressed-brick infill, live-roof green building!
The Hillhouse is a place of beauty and wonder! Here’s a glimpse into the process:
The excavation began May, 2013.
We used locally milled timbers from the Harrop-Proctor Community Forest for the frame, with a pressed brick infill. All the bricks were made on site with local material–chips, planer shavings, and clay. It has cellulose insulation instead of fiberglass and a living roof for additional insulation, longevity, and rainwater collection.
The building is designed for hosting educational workshops focused on natural living, building and permaculture. It also contains 2 studio-bedrooms (each 13 x 15 with private entrances and some covered outdoor storage space), a 2-story indoor greenhouse, a harvest kitchen, a beautiful dining area capable of seating 10, a large bathroom with shower, and a cold storage room.
There are two excellent sources of drinking and irrigation water, two different heat sources, and a solar hot water system as well as natural gas.
The Hillhouse is surrounded by natural beauty, forests, and gardens. To one side of the house is a cozy fire-pit gathering area. On the other side is a cob Sauna building. Behind and beside the building are two man-made ponds that are connected by a stream that flows past the back of the building, all surrounded by thick clover. It’s so picturesque and serene, its like a dream. The whole thing is quite a accomplishment!
Below are a few photos taken during and after construction. For additional photos of the construction, design and features of the Hillhouse, visit the photo gallery on the website, and you can visit our Facebook site – visit the photo gallery as well as posts linking to more photos related construction of the building, the Rocket Mass Heater (Earthen Built) and the Sauna House.