Wow, what a great discussion. Thank you Jay and Bill for sharing all your knowledge.
Here's where I'm at. I am not a builder by trade so I tend to mull ideas over for quite some time before executing and wanting to build with minimal impact on the land is always foremost in my thoughts which makes the mulling that much longer.
I am planning on putting up a shop/pottery studio soon and have been contemplating foundation choices for sometime now and it seems the raised earth foundation or a variation of it may be just what I've been looking for. I will be building on what is now my parking area which is built up runs of stone and bank run gravel that is compacted. What I'd like to do is add layers of compacted stone directly on top of the existing stone/gravel and then place some plinth stones and build from there. I have a couple of questions and was hoping for some thoughts/suggestions.
First, what size stone and how deep of a run before compacting and should the size of stone get smaller for the final run to help with drainage? How deep total would I need to go? (I have a feeling that last one will be answered with something beginning with "It depends..."
The second is similar to what John is asking regarding tying the building to the ground. Does the weight of a timber framed building alone negate the need for securing it to the ground?
Finally, a bit off topic but in relation to it, with regards to insulating the floor of a building that sits on this type of foundation. What are the most effective options?
Thank you in advance for your thoughts!