I didn’t have a lot of experience building when I began this project, but I always enjoyed making forts and helping with the family house when I was young. I’ve worked with sculpture before, and in a way that’s what Project Moonunit is to me… that or a goat shed, winery, art studio, guest house, a mud hut, hacienda, ‘dobe, spaceship, pod, playground and home.
It’s a hybrid passive solar ( kinda ), cob, earthbag, straw bale, light clay, tires, papercrete, urbanite, stone, (wood) post and beam structure; with a light seasoning of earthen and lime plasters. Most of the wood is salvaged and acquired by trade. The earth and sand was dug from the site and brought 1.3 miles from the local gravel pit. It sure helps to have friends in construction looking out, and in dumpsters, for windows, doors and supplies.
It’s what I’ve been up to for the last 3 years. I’ve treated it like tuition, like college. I learn by doing. Experimenting. Learning how to work with natural building materials. Learning about what materials are fun to work with and those that are not. Learning the value of a stick-to-it-ive-ness and what it takes to make a ( or 700 ) wheelbarrow(s) of cob. Most importantly I’ve learned what not to do. That a plan is very important. And to be flexible with the plan if you can. I’ve been happy to make mistakes; tear it all down and start over again and again. It’s hard for me to gauge some of the details of the project, but I’ll do my best.
Project Moonunit was born on 2003-2006 some where in the midwest. Made by Michael Blaha and friends. The building is roughly 650 sq (round) feet. The total cost, including all tools and building materials, came in under $5000.00. It was constructed over the course of 3 years with an estimated 800 – 1500 man hours – give or take.
The energy and time… wellll, it’s a labor of love.