Colorful Rammed Earth

As a process that involves the layer-by-layer compression of gravel, sand, silt, and clay, rammed earth appears as horizontal stratification of earth tones. This can be controlled and explored through patterns, texture, pigmentation, and natural clay colors. The type of soil not only affects the mechanical properties of the rammed layers (the denser the material, … Read more

Couple Builds Net Zero Home to Age in Place

When writer and adventurer David Noland set out to build an “old man’s age-in-place home” he set his sights on harnessing as much of the sun’s energy as needed to keep him and his wife comfortable through all four seasons. “The plan was to make our house small, simple, one floor, close to the road, … Read more

Bioconstruction is becoming Popular in Mexico

The Imagina cultural center on the outskirts of León, Mexico, is housed in a big, multistory facility, constructed mostly from locally dug adobe soil;  it is engineered using bioconstruction techniques, a holistic building technique that aims to achieve a circular economy, minimizing waste and benefiting people. In fact, all 3,500 square meters (about 37,700 square … Read more

Veteran Coder Builds Stone-Covered Dome Home Into Texas Hill

I usually avoid posting about projects that involve the use of lots of cement, but this underground homestead has many other features that are worth exploring. When Al Schwarz moved from upstate NY near Dallas, TX, he wanted a home with low energy bills and protection from extreme weather, so he dug into a hillside, … Read more