The house on 2004 Danmore Drive is quite unusual with its dirt roof instead of a typical shingled roof. It was built in 1983 by a family friend of the current owners, the Mashburns. The octagonal shape makes it the most unique house on its street. Architecturally, it is significant because it is environmentally friendly from the dirt that gives it the ability to retain heat and keep in coolness during winter or summer months.
We interviewed Danielle Mashburn, but we were not allowed inside the house because they are renovating the whole inside by themselves entirely by hand. However, she told us that the inside is all concrete and there are no trusses to keep its octagonal structure. The only six windows throughout the entire house are located at the front to let in light from the sun from the South side. The other set of windows are actually sliding glass doors which add to the total of four doors in the small house. Although, it is mostly octagonal from the outside and top, the back end of the house is flat going against the hillside. It might only look like it is a one story house, but there are stairs leading up and down to different levels. However, none of stairs in the house lead up to the roof.
On the left side of the house next to the garage, there are stairs leading to the dirt, thatched roof making the top accessible from the outside. Because of the dirt roof, it does not absorb heat as much and keeps it insulated without consuming lots of energy. Not only does the thatched roof make it environmentally friendly, the vegetation is indigenous to this area of Idaho. Some of the plants include sagebrush and juniper which give it a natural look, and can only be found growing on the roof of the house. The roof is not maintained to look nice that much which also gives the house its the earthy style.
Other interesting aspects of the unique house are that it does not have rain gutters. When there is a storm the water soaks into the thatched roof, and then into the insulation between the rock and concrete walls. There is no need for a sprinkler system on the roof because of the native vegetation’s characteristics of being able to survive in Boise’s little rainfall throughout the months.
All parts of the house work together to keep the natural style and theme of the house. The dirt outside the house consists of mostly Indian clay which is a red dirt that holds in water and stays moist. This is a continuation of the environmentally friendly aspects of the house.
The architectural style of the house is mainly modern and earthy with neutral tones. A red door and some pink flowers at the front provide color to the house to contrast with the house’s otherwise natural and rocky colors. Danielle explained that the main door was painted red to prevent people from entering into her son’s room located on the left of the main door of the house.
Although the architecture is fairly original, there are two other houses with similar thatched roofs located a few streets away on East Parkside Drive. We chose to research more information about this house over the others because of the fascinating and one-of-a-kind structure. Adding more environmentally friendly houses, such as this one, to Boise’s architecture would help promote the effort of our city to keep pushing for green living.