Looking for advice from people in Virginia about building codes. I’m trying to choose a county where I can start my own farm. I’d like to use traditional building methods – hay bales, earthship, sand bag type architecture, and cut my own lumber on site. Looking for 50+ acres. Please let me know where you’re from, and what kind of building codes there are!

Answer: try pinging the code association, maybe they can direct you to the right place so you don’t have to contact all of the localities: https://vbcoa.org/

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Look at Floyd county. They have an active alternative building community and the building inspectors are probably familiar with ‘non-standard’ buildings. I’ve participated in the building of an offgrid straw bale house there.

The area around Lexington VA, (Rockbridge and Botetourt counties and environs) also has quite a few alternative structures tucked away in the hills. I’ve toured yurts, straw bale, timber framed, log and cordwood structures in that area .

Charlottesville and environs also has an active green building community.

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