I'll take that a step further and request that the pipes all be on *interior* walls and that the system be easy to drain. We've got one bathroom sink in a pop-out on the north exterior wall and I'm always worried it will freeze if the weather gets bad here. The kitchen sink is the next greatest risk. Yes it's nice looking outside as I do the dishes, but I'd live without that if it meant I didn't have to worry about frozen pipes!
A single wet wall between the kitchen and bath would save on materials and labor.
I've also read that having a variety of ceiling heights and more organic shapes than "cubes" is much better for our mental status and sense of "home". If you're working with cob or post and beam with cob in-fill, having some curves is easier than the same using dimensional lumber. That said, having a few straight walls in key spots for hanging cabinets and building counters can both be easier and more material efficient, so in a perfect world, the final design would have some of both.
I've always lived in square-ish or rectangular homes. However, when I researched dwellings that are most disaster resistant, round stuff kept popping up and I got used to round dwelling ideas.
I want to emphasize this observation. Since square footage goes up as a "mathematical square" while perimeter just goes up as an addition, a little bigger and more useful interior can result from relatively little extra "envelope". This is the one problem I have with the "small house movement" - you spend a lot of money and materials on the exterior for the amount of interior - particularly if the law insists it be road legal and therefore only about 8 ft wide. (Don't take that to mean I don't think people shouldn't build Tiny Homes - just that the alternative of designing a larger dwelling for multiple people can be a very efficient use of material.) The shape being suggested in this thread, be it round or octagonal, has the specific benefit of using relatively little "outside" to protect about as large an amount of "inside" as possible.
So, by changing each edge of the octagon from 10 to 14 feet, we doubled our square-footage.
Rufus Laggren wrote:There seems to me one other _very_ important space-taker: The 2nd egress from the common room, more or less across the building from the main door. Think FIRE at night around the front door and everybody has left their door locked as they bail from their window.
hink FIRE at night around the front door and everybody has left their door locked as they bail from their window. Motivated people in the common area might often be able to break down a bedroom door and get out that way... But "often" may not be goods odds in this case. Most times some doors would be unlocked, but again, "most times" may not be a good bet. There may be 12 people enjoying poetry session when the fire starts - can they all make it out?
Miles wrote:I was thinking more of each room being an octagon, many octagons placed in a "circle", which forms a large center common area. Wish I knew how to draw that idea. It is sort of like the mars houses I linked above, but with 8 sides instead of 6.