Project description:

From early-on, there was a strong compulsion to make the thing bear-proof...

'Did 2x4 framing on a 2x8 plate, with the 2x4s offset /alternating
interior / exterior on 1' centers, to limit thermal conduction via the studs.
'Scrounged enough 12" TJIs for the entire roof, from the Resource yard.
Most of the 2x lumber was recycled, as well as the windows & door.

On the north side, the bottom of the wall cavity was first filled with earth
to a depth of up to ~2', as that mass will help provide thermal modulation in the coop
Used treated plywood & a plastic liner below grade, though i wouldn't
expect moisture issues with generous eaves.

So far, it seems extremely cozy in there. I'm not going to bother hooking up the
solar-radient heat until i get ducks again, and do the "pond".

It's all for you guys...

The excavation & terrace, taking shape

Radiant tubing laid with wire mesh both under & over

You don't see here, the tubing going out to the "duck pond"

The slab

The framing

The skin is mostly on

Stuffing the walls with straw

Close-up of typical wall cavity, with offset 2x4s

Filling the roof cavity with straw

Standing seam metal roof is going on, as well as a gutter just in time for rain...
still need to trim north edge

With paper & stucco lathe up

Roostin'

Nesting boxes ready for lots of egg-layin (thanks, Kira!)

A solar panel is now mounted on the roof (with a tarp over it for now),
and the birds have a run to run in! (thanks, Devin!)

The new door is hung, complete with kick plate reinforcing (thanks, Marco & Rick!)
And a chicken sculpture given as a gift... 'now wired to the door (thanks, Francee!)

Created a portal into the run, mostly for people to come & go,
but also for the birds to come & go, so long as we're around to keep an eye on 'em.

The works. The mesh cloth over the run is just to provide more shade...
it'll probably come off soon, as it continues to get colder into the winter.

It's really wonderful peace of mind to have the run together... not having to jump every time you hear a squawk... previously, they'd just have the whole world to run around in (if we were here), but honestly, it's a wonder we didn't lose birds* more routinely that way.

Left to do is plumbing the active solar-heating system to keep the pond free of winter ice.

* Dedicated to "Hop", the sweet Barred-Rock that got munched by a hawk, summer '09.