Over a decade ago there was an active Natural Building Network that maintained a website with a membership directory where natural builders could find each other and communicate. There was a board of directors that coordinated the organization as a non profit membership association promoting natural building principles, materials and practitioners worldwide. They supported ecological regeneration, social justice, the building of community and economic opportunity, and the recognition of indigenous wisdom as essential in creating healthy, beautiful, and spiritually-uplifting habitation for everyone.Founded in 2005, the charter members included pioneers in the Natural Building movement who were interested in seeing Natural Building become a safe, beautiful, renewable and common sight in our modern landscape.
The Natural Building Network provided a place where people could gather with others to share ideas, announce events and opportunities, and find skilled help and accurate and up-to-date information. This work was funded through the support of its members.
I was very saddened when this organization ceased its operation around 2015. I think that the management became too much of a burden for those charged with carrying on.
I was reminded of the Natural Building Network when I received an email from Andrew (who I recently blogged about here), stating:
“I am a fan of training Muay Thai for fitness, sport and as self-defense. There are some great video instruction series called Warrior Collective on Youtube, that would make a great model for Natural Building. Individual coaches submit videos on some of their favorite techniques, so you can get a short tutorial in each video on a specific part of the overall sport. I think this would work great for Natural Building, because so many ideas about individual aspects of the build process would get shared around. Maybe this could just start off as a sort of technique blog round-table? Part of what works for Warrior Collective is that coaches supply free material to students but also get exposure for their gyms (I think they’re primarily in the UK and Ireland), so it remains a win-win.”
So here is a seed of an idea that could supplant some of what the Natural Building Network was about. I would love to see something like this happen; do any of you readers share this feeling or have a notion of how to make it happen?
7 thoughts on “A Natural Building Network”
I am new to this. Interested to connect to share and learn how to build earthbag house in Alaska.
One of the best resources for learning more about earthbag building is http://www.earthbagbuilding.com or do a search on this blog for aspects of earthbag building.
I was further wondering if, as a part of a Natural Building Network and collection of membership fees, members could somehow be eligible to win a raffle for a naturally built home that would also serve as an opportunity to showcase and document construction?
This might be a bit far-fetched, but it might also encourage more membership by people who are learning, planning and dreaming of building their own home.
Perhaps a good design could be voted on by all members, some land purchased, and then a volunteer team could be assembled to complete the build (that might merely be a completed shell ready for interior finishing?)
Additionally, could a set of data points and attributes about natural built homes be started to document longevity and outcomes of building methods? I think you could find some really good information by creating a database around naturally built homes, longevity, and geography. There is probably data available from government agencies that would allow a comparison that includes weather conditions like hurricanes, earthquake of various magnitude, etc., and performance of Natural Building methods. As is the case with Seismic zones and code requirement, for example, a system for minimum recommended plaster thickness (or other attributes for example) specific to climate zones might be achieved.
It seems like this could also provide opportunity to gather data towards code certification for various Natural Building methods. If, for example, a 2′ wide cob wall gets approved for code in or near Vancouver, BC, CA, then we know that could provide the basis for a similar design in the same region. Talk about an enormous, inexpensive thermal mass, BTW!
I would absolutely love to see this happen. What a wonderful suggestion. Let me know how I might be able to help. No strong computer skills yet can do the simple things.
I have to say I think this is a great idea. I am beginning to get serious about building and I can see such a resource would be indispensable. The loss of that network is a bit sad. Thank you, Kelly, for this blog. I am so glad I found it!