School in Ladakh Heats and Cools Itself

The SECMOL (Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh) School building features rammed-earth construction and passive solar architecture. The region has a cold desert climate with temperature variation from 20°C (68°F) in summer to -30°C (-22°F) in winter. Luckily this area has over 300 sunny days per year, so the sun is a reliable energy … Read more

Using Augmented Reality with Bamboo Architecture

Bamboo architecture stands out due to its complex geometries and heavy reliance on craftsmanship. Physical models have traditionally been central to materializing architects’ visions and conveying intricate design. Now, we are in the midst of a paradigm shift: the digital revolution is bringing computer-aided design tools to the forefront, unlocking bamboo’s potential in ways never … Read more

Explanation of Passive Solar Home Design

Architectural design educator Stewart Hicks explains how the Paul Schweikher House and Studio was designed for passive solar heating and cooling. Schweikher used natural materials to construct what Hicks calls a “direct gain passive solar system,” whose openings and overhangs are “positioned so that it lets in winter sun, while blocking the summer sun,” which … Read more

Montana Couple Build Their Own Hybrid Cob House

Daniel and Katherine Ray first came across cob houses when they were in college. “We stumbled across a photo of a cob house in Wales and we got really interested, so we started collecting lots of pictures of other people’s cob houses. It was a pot-shot dream that we really wanted to do,” Ray said. … Read more

Showcase of Natural Building at OUR Ecovillage

Freya’s House is an off-grid green building that showcases multiple natural building techniques from straw bale, cob, and rammed earth walls, to earthen floors, a green roof, and reclaimed, salvaged and locally sourced materials. It uses solar power for electricity, a legal composting toilet, and on-site greywater filtration. The house is located at O.U.R Ecovillage … Read more