Circular house being built in the Central West End, leaves residents bewildered

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ST.  LOUIS (KPLR) – A home construction site in the Central West End is raising concerns with some neighbors.  The home is being built in the 500 block of North Newstead Ave.  The property owner is Zachary Kraft.  He said the project is called a rammed adobe earth bag structure.

The home is circular. Walls are made from stacks of sandbags filled with natural materials.  He said the concept is popular in the southwest part of the United States, and creates homes that are extremely energy efficient.

“I think a lot of people have been thinking it’s a bomb shelter or something like that,” Kraft said.

One neighbor who asked not to be identified feels the city should not have allowed permits for the project.  He said construction has dragged on for too long.  He hoped the city will take a closer look at the project.  Another neighbor wondered how the city could approve the project given the restrictions for anyone trying to make changes to their existing home.

“People live in them and they’re awesome,” said Kraft.  “It can be extreme temperatures, very cold, very hot and that’s what people want to live in.”

Kraft does have a building permit.  He purchased the land through the St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority.  He will need to pass further inspections in order to obtain an occupancy permit.  He hopes construction will be finished by the end of the year.