Clarification of Answer by
26 Jun 2003 01:54 PDT
From the phrasing of your question, I understood you to mean you had
looked at books for ideas but not the web, so I'm sorry if my research
duplicated some of your own. I notice you are new to Google Answers -
it's always a good idea to give us a clear background to your own
research as this gives us a better starting point.
I take your point about Leonie's concrete slab, but it's possible that
was a local code requirement. You will need to check yours.
I have searched around the web a great deal further on your behalf
today, without finding any parallel US service to John Koch's, and
nothing like the quality and originality of design. The US builders
all seem to be coming from the direction of glorified barns, whereas
John (and some other Australians) start from the concept of home
design. Presumably that is why he is offering an international service
However, In Ohio I did find Durabilt Pole Buildings at:
"Twenty - two years ago it was the goal of Durabilt Inc. Pole
Buildings to give their customers more for their money than any other
builder. Upon that premise, Durabilt Inc. Pole Buildings has refused
Our designs, our materials and our ability to fit into one's custom
pole building needs, have allowed us to solve problems for our
customers. We don't just tell you what we can build for you, we help
you figure out what you need. Then we fit it into your budget. "
They also write:
"A pole building is a great way to start for the do - it -
yourselfers. Let us erect the shell and you can finish the interior
work as you go, and save. Loft barns and single story buildings can
all be used with some modifications. Let us get you started on your
home, vacation home, or retirement home."
To mu eye, they still seem to be basing their designs on a barn style,
but you might find they are happy to collaborate on a more original
design, and if so they might be just the people for you, especially as
they seem to be budget conscious.
In Hawaii I was able to find a mention of Pole Homes & Custom Building
- Phone: 254-1626 - on the Kailua chamber of Commerce website at:
There is no web link. Possibly they could recommend someone in your
I think, however, you have misunderstood what John Koch is offering.
He does provide the plans and details in imperial measures as well as
metric. It is the computations - the actual calculations he has used
to arrive at his structural decisions about loadings etc. that he has
carried out in metric units. You should not need to know anything
about those in order to follow the plans.
On his "International" page he says:
"For countries that use imperial units, plans will be converted from
metres to feet and inches. Structural computations will be in metric
units and based on Australian Standard Codes. These are recognised
internationally to be of the highest standard, and are usually
acceptable to local authorities. " Find this page at:
You might like to check with your local building regulatory body what
they need to see in order to approve your plans. In all likelihood
they will not need to see the computations, unless perhaps there is
some special requirement such as earthquake provisions, or provisions
for high wind or cyclones.
John goes on to quote a Texas customer, with some (blurry) photos
which give some idea of the framing up, and there is a link to that
customer's website at:
Here the builder, Robert, has posted large clear photos of the
building process, and also a contact button, so you would be able to
email him to find out what snags he encountered, if any, and what
aspects of the collaboration he was pleased with. He might be able to
set your mind at rest about the metric to imperial conversion.
Robert says - Page 2 - "John (Koch) is an experienced home builder,
pole house expert and structural engineer. Not only did he design my
house, he also provided me with detailed construction procedures &
critical structural calculations. Furthermore, his ongoing assistance
throughout this project has been invaluable." So obviously the
collaboration worked for him.
You should find Robert's photos interesting as they take you step by
step through the construction process, including notching out the
timbers for the beams. He also tells you when he does something
different from Koch's recommendations. Robert's house is simpler than
the one you want, I suspect, but the construction principles should be
In any case, if you are after ideas, as you said in your original
question, you could do worse than to purchase Koch's catalogue and CD.
If he has something you really like, I suggest you do not allow
yourself to be put off by the distance factor, but instead contact
Robert by way of a reference, and then make some detailed email
enquiries. Otherwise have a talk to Durabilt and see if they are able
to work on more imaginative projects.
For further reference, also in Australia, Stainton Homes have
interesting photographs of the pole homes they build at:
Clicking on some of the homes gives you more pictures including
interiors from which it is possible to make out how brackets, bearers
joists and crossbeams are arranged. They also offer an individual
" Individual Designs & Development
7 Turnbull Street, Garbutt, Townsville .. PO Box 19 Belgian Gardens
Phone +61 7 4775 7557 .. Facsimile: +61 7 4775 7558.. Email:
They are winners of the Queensland Master Builders' Association Home
of the Year with one of their pole homes.
Homeplan Architects number pole designs among their other plans at:
Kime House is a five bedroom home ..."Situated on a rocky sloping
rural site... designed to respond to the site and retain the bushy
character of the site by touching the earth lightly with steel post
structure to minimise excavation and disturbance on the site. The
interior opens to the environment with glazed roofs, window walls,
cantilevering decks with trees that penetrate the building.
Designed as a passive solar home and with a plan that includes
octagonal elements this home provides a home rich in character but
comfortable and practical for living in. Although the site is bushy,
light and warmth is maintained with cathedral ceilings, glazed roofs
and clerestory windows. Changes in levels relate to the site."
Note the use of steel poles. They produce designs in close
consultation with the client, but do not seem to operate an
Other Aussie sites include Rivergum homes at:
The New South Wales MBA winner for pole homes for 2003 was Australian
Hardwood Homes, Lot 1 Bells Line of Rd, Bilpin 2758 +62 2 45677644.
They do not appear to have a website.
Thank you for an interesting question.
architects pole homes
consultants pole homes
US architects pole homes