skillbuilders celebrating the reciprocal roof

It was an exciting day today for the Natural Builders at O.U.R. Ecovillage: we laid the reciprocal roof frame on the root cellar.

I had participated in a roof structure like this once during the Natural Building Colloquium in the Czech Republic where Tony Wrench taught us how to do it. I took notes that day and was very grateful I did when we started planning for this one.

I solicited the help of the building team and found that everybody wanted to try it and a couple of guys had a bit of experience. Thankfully the root cellar is a small room, so rather low risk for trying something.

We had prepared the poles by peeling the bark off. The walls were ready and the placement of the poles marked.

The biggest question was where to place the Charlie and when we started laying poles on we found that it needed to move a little. Once the process was started it all happened very fast and without further problems. Have a look:



5 replies
  1. Daryl Christensen
    Daryl Christensen says:

    Questions: What is the lifespan of this type of roof? Is it longer than the 12-25 years of conventional roofs? How does it perform against leaks? How much maintenance does it require? Is it expensive?

    • elkecole
      elkecole says:

      hi Daryl
      The reciprocal frame is just the structure. The life span depends on the quality of the wood and on the roofing- in this case we’ll do a living roof. I don’t expect any exceptional performance, really.

  2. David Reed
    David Reed says:

    Oh Elke you are so modest!!! This roof will preform wonderfully under load as well as no load, this is the perfect design as it uses the roof structures own weight to lock the rafters into place and keep it together! If properly done this style of roof will out reform conventional roofing methods.


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