Paul’s Wofati

Some of you know I’m a little bit of a permaculture fanatic, so I like to interject some of these concepts where I can.  Today I wanted to share a neat project going on over at’s forum.  It’s called a Wofati house and essentially it is an wooden structure that uses post and beam techniques that is then mostly buried under dirt to provide thermal mass.  The big concept here is that the house is optimized for solar gain and uses a large thermal mass to keep things cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  The design was inspired by Mike Oehler’s design and is touted to be pretty inexpensive.

Photos by Kristie Wheaton from











  1. I find your project very interesting. I have been a builder for fifty years and still going strong. Have been building with pols and logs for the past 30 years. You definitely have piqued my interest and dying to see how your going to finish things. Bill

  2. Great home in the making. very similiar to how I have envisioned making our place. What kind of climate are you in? How do you prevent the wood from decomposing underground? Thanks for any feedback.

  3. Please don’t leave this hanging. I would like to see what you wrap it with before backfilling. keep taking pictures of every step. Please and thank you.

  4. Wonderful!!!! Keep going and PLEASE keep us posted w/ pics and any personal comments. Quite sure it’s a challenge but you’re admired and envied…..Looking forward…..

  5. Very interesting; many, many questions, such as how are you setting your posts, what are some of the purposes of some of the features (e.g., the “wings” at what appears to be the front of the house), how much “thermal mass” (assuming it will be dirt) will you be using and how much of the house will it cover? More, more and more questions — questions abound. I’m looking forward to progress and expansion on this subject.

  6. Looks great. Very curious how you will finish it.

  7. No fair! We need to see this through to completion! Looking forward to more pics, great project. We bought a former “earth home” in Wisconsin, and the temp is remarkably consistent in the underground portion.

  8. Hope to see how it is completed!

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