Two of my summer projects are to start building a chicken coop (my husband will help me finish it in the fall) and to dig a root cellar. I want to build a straw bale chicken coop with a foundation and sealed with stucco just like a straw bale house for people. My husband figures we should go whole hog and put in electricity (which I agree is a good idea) and plumbing (which I'm a little dubious about). We would like to build a straw bale house some day, so this would be a good practice project - better to make mistakes on a chicken coop (very small) than on a house (big). My question is this - can anyone think of a compelling reason not to stack the chicken coop on top of the root cellar? Then we could have a sturdy concrete root cellar and the chicken coop would have a foundation to last two lifetimes. The cost will be a little high, I know, but we will be sure our root cellar won't cave in, and we probably need to dig a foundation for the chicken coop as well. So, I figure, why not combine the two projects? Then we only have to dig one hole. And the root cellar will be kind of insulated, too. The only problem I have thought of is that the root cellar should be below the frost line and the bales on the chicken coop need to start above the snow line. The frost line here is pretty deep. It seems to me that this just means there needs to be three "layers" (like in a cake). The bottom layer is the root cellar, which has a ceiling. Then there's an empty space (my husband suggested maybe a storage space, I was thinking just insulated with bales). Then the chicken coop floor is set on top of the empty room. This is still not ideal, because we're starting to talk about a lot of concrete, but if that's the only problem, I think we'll do it. Here's a schematic (and a very ugly one, at that) of the elevation. __________________ | | | | | Chicken Coop | | | | | | | |_________________| | | | Storage Space |___________Ground Level______________ | | |_________________| | | | | | Root Cellar | | | | | | | |_________________| Is there some glaring thing that I'm missing that makes this a horrible idea?