A Journey Through the Natural Building Techniques: Straw Bales

When it comes to insulating your home you may feel as though your choices are quite limited. You are likely to be standing in the aisle of your local hardware store, gazing up at various fiberglass insulation, rigid insulation, cellulose, or even spun rock insulation called Roxul, and wondering which is the healthiest for you and your family. If you’re lucky, you might even see some sheep’s wool available to stuff into the cavities of your walls back home. Here…

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A Journey Through the Natural Building Techniques: Cob

Hopefully, through my last articles, I’ve created a curiosity in many of you about the creative world of Natural Building. But before you decide to march off into your backyard, stick a shovel into the ground, and start building your very own cob cottage, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of what cob building actually is. If I had a dollar every time someone asked me if Cob means Corn on the Cob, I’d be a little richer!…

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El Presidio Real de Santa Barbara

A Journey through the Natural Building Techniques: Adobe

The word adobe comes from the Arabic word al-tob, which means “the brick” and from Coptic tube, which also means “brick”. A brick is precisely what adobe is, a sun-dried brick of clay-soil and sand, with fiber added in some instances as well. These fibers, which add tensile strength, are usually straw, hair, or even horse manure. Yes, I said horse manure! Building with adobe is one of the oldest building techniques in the world, and some of the world’s oldest standing buildings were constructed with adobe.

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Depp Helps Publish Woody Guthrie’s Long Lost Novel about Natural Building

We came across this post from Rhonda Winter at Ecolocalizer concerning Woody Guthrie’s writing about natural building. [repostus] Depp Helps Publish Woody Guthrie’s Long Lost Novel about Natural Building (via EcoLocalizer) In 1947 Woody Guthrie wrote House of Earth, a fictional story about struggling young sharecroppers, poverty and building sustainably with dirt and natural ingredients. The book was never published at the time, due in part to the novel’s sexually explicit material, as well as the oppressive red…

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Green Building 101: Originate’s Natural Material Showroom

A locally sourced place for customers and clients to go to purchase a large variety of natural materials, consult experts and experience the ‘green’ materials first hand is Originate. This is a natural building materials’ showroom located in Tucson, Arizona. “Originate specializes in interior finishes that are environmentally friendly, non-toxic, durable, and made from natural and renewable resources.”

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The Most Beautiful Green Home Building Construction Project Ever?

My jaw dropped when I first watched this video tour of a beautiful owner-built green building construction project in Oregon. This particular green building is made entirely out of cob, a mixture of clay, sand, and straw. Meka Bunch of Wolf Creek, Oregon built this stunning cob house over a four year period. Complete with hand-sculpted furniture, shelves and nooks built directly into the walls, arched windows, and a killer custom staircase, his cob building is a divine artistic achievement.…

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Earth Sheltered Home Work Exchange

Do you want to learn more about green building and gain valuable hands-on experience by helping to build an earth sheltered home? There are several natural building internship and work exchange opportunities at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeastern Missouri, an off-the-grid intentional community devoted to ecological sustainability. Read ahead to learn more about one particular earth sheltered home and green building construction work exchange.

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Ways To Prevent Global Warming Through Natural Building

Through natural building, there are many ways to prevent global warming. Conventional suburban houses are large, poorly designed, and inefficient, and the manufacturing and construction processes are big contributors to global warming. Natural building is a sustainable design approach that promotes low impact homes built with natural and recycled materials. I will highlight two different techniques in natural building that promote global warming prevention through increased energy efficiency.

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Straw Bale House Construction and Natural Building Internship

Are you interested in a hands-on straw bale building experience? As you know, there is no better way to learn than by doing. Red Earth Farms is an 80 acre, off-the-grid intentional community based in northeastern Missouri, composed of individual homesteads. Members strive to live ecologically – this means, of course, that members use natural building materials in their homes. Mark Mazzioti is one such individual building a straw bale house, featuring a pasive solar design, post-and-beam framing, and a…

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Built By Hand Book: Traditional Natural Building Designs Around The World

Imagine houses with six feet-thick seaweed roofs, deep-nestled and hand-carved cave homes, and pigeon-harboring huts made of mud. Sounds a little unreal, huh? Well, this and more is all vividly documented in Built By Hand: Vernacular Buildings Around the World, a most inspiring bit of natural building eye candy I recently had the fortune of stumbling upon. Built by Hand is a hardcover collection of photographs of traditional buildings of all styles across the globe. If you weren’t already appalled…

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