A Couple’s Hand Cranked Utopia

In 1978 the Howards were urban professionals. Wanting a simpler, more meaningful life on a smaller budget, the family-of-4 lived on $18K/year, reducing costs to $10K/year after moving to their “intentional” Colorado homestead. They moved into an abandoned double-wide trailer on their 35 acre property and began raising chickens and goats for milk, as well … Read more

Rammed Earth in Nepal

The 2015 quake that saw the collapse of predominantly brick, mud, and mortar buildings in Nepal, fed the public perception that concrete structures are more durable. But civil engineers and architects say technologies like rammed earth would be environmentally more sustainable and earthquake-resilient. Nepal’s domestic cement production more than tripled from 3 million tons to … Read more

The Strawtegi CO2ttage in Salt Lake City

The Strawtegi CO2ttage broke ground in October, 2021, as the first permitted structure in the U.S. insulated with dense-packed chopped straw. This net-zero carbon, modular, straw panel Accessory Dwelling Unit in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the first demonstration project and test build of Strawtegi, Inc.  The 650 square foot building demonstrates how we can … Read more

Straw Bale Building in Pennsylvania

Diane Ferguson, a former environmental health professor, has always dreamed of building a house made of natural materials. Her ideal home has about 650 straw bales stacked together with bamboo stakes driven through them. The straw is then plastered on the interior with an earthen plaster and the exterior with limestone plaster. Diane worked with … Read more