This DVD perfectly accompanies the book of the same name by Ben Law. Here he presents the step-by-step design and build process for a locally sourced beautiful roundwood timber framed building, as well as showing other examples of builds including houses, a shop and a small outhouse. It also includes guidance for the creation of cordwood walls and rammed earth floors. Highly informative and inspiring.
This DVD is truly inspiring. When others are thinking and dreaming Ben is actually doing. Ben has in so many ways inspired the 'eco-house' concept with his own 'famous' house (the subject of a Grand designs episode) but this DVD takes it to a new level, because he makes it seem within the grasp of mere mortals to construct a beautiful, functional roundwood timber house. He stresses his belief in locally sourced resources and also shows his creativity in attempting ,successfully, to steam-bend large trees. What I also loved about the film is what seemed so clear to Kevin McCloud on Grand Designs with the build of his own first roundwood house, that a great sense of common purpose and community exists around projects like this because it is about building houses in as eco-friendly a way as is possible. Good energy attracts good energy. In time it may well be the catalyst needed for a paradigm shift in the way building companies view building houses. --Martin Holme, www.green-shopping.co.uk
This stunning video, which accompanies the book by Ben Law of the same name, takes the viewer stage by stage through the construction process of the outdoor classroom at the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire. Ben Law is probably best known for his first roundwood building, his own house which featured in the Grand Designs series a few years ago. Since then he has built several other roundwood timber framed buildings, refining his techniques and developing a new vernacular in sustainable low-impact construction.. Using timber in the round has several advantages: a roundwood pole cut straight from the forest is considerably stronger in its natural form than an equivalent sized beam of sawn timber, but without the embodied energy from milling; small-diameter poles often not valued in commercial forestry are often ideal, as is the use of coppice timber; and roundwood poles retain the form and character of the original tree, creating an aesthetic both elegant and rustic. The DVD shows Ben to be not only a skilled builder and woodsman - the link between the managment of the woods and the construction of the building is emphaized throughout - but also a very clear and methodical communicator. The whole process is enthralling, as Ben takes us through the build from foundations, frame-raising, shingling the roof and mixing cob and clay plasters for the fireplace, and I had a sense of being involved in the whole project myself as I watched. --Graham Strouts for Permaculture magazine