A home built to last is ranch centerpiece

Jun 12, 2023 | Author: Larry Mauter, LCSWA member | Editor: Nancy Hildebrandt

The centerpiece of Dragonfly Ranch is the family home of Dan and Sandre Nelson — a 2,800 square-foot concrete yurt-like building featuring a warm maple interior.

Dan Nelson built the environmentally friendly structure over a two-year period. He described it as “super-energy efficient.”

Nelson is a journeyman carpenter with plumbing and electrical skills. He also has a degree in robotics.

A tour of the two-bedroom haven capped a June 10 ranch tour sponsored by the Linn County Small Woodlands Association.

Insulated concrete forms with rebar grids in both directions frame the dodecagon (12 sided) structure. A soapstone wood stove and soapstone wood fire cooking stove and oven heat the home on cold days. Triple-pane windows also come into play.

Photo of Dan Nelson standing in his home talking to a group.

Dan Nelson answers questions under a maple and laminate beam ceiling fashioned with skylights and a supporting center ring. Photo credit: Larry Mauter, LCSWA member.

Summer heat is moderated by a 6-inch concrete slab foundation and a thermosiphon system venting heat up and out through a center ring.

Year round, inside temperatures stay between 68 and 70 degrees, said Nelson.

The elaborate maple ceiling is tongue and groove, punctuated with laminated beams and skylights that can be closed when necessary. Maple cabinetry throughout the house features dovetail design and slow-close drawers.

All doors are three-feet wide, meant to accommodate wheelchairs if ever needed.

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The 2,800 square foot Dragonfly home features insulated concrete forms. Photo credit: Larry Mauter, LCSWA member.

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