The Greening of America’s Building Codes

Building codes require that buildings be designed and constructed to ensure minimum health and safety standards. These codes have developed over centuries with the primary goal of protecting against the spread of fire. But building codes may actually be contributing to the fragility of the built environment as a whole. According to architect and author … Read more

Legendary Permaculturalist Jerome Osentowski’s Future Uncertain

Jerome Osentowski, the founder of the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute is known the world over as a gardening guru. But now he is facing a challenge from a pest he never anticipated: zoning. Around Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley, the legend is well-known: An eccentric old man living on Basalt Mountain had grown bananas at … Read more

How to Make Cob to Code in America

A Cob Construction Appendix has recently been approved for inclusion in the International Residential Building codes in the United States and a number of other countries. The new code requires builders to test their cob mixes for shrinkage, compressive strength, and, in some cases, modulus of rupture. The shrinkage test is the most straightforward and … Read more

United Nations Declaration for Sustainable Architecture

The United Nations has written a set of “principles for sustainable and inclusive urban design and architecture” for architects to sign up to called the San Marino Declaration, which architect Norman Foster is set to launch. Set to be ratified in the republic of San Marino, the declaration outlines a set of standards that architects … Read more