Houses That Can Save the World

Many of our houses are defined by a pattern of consumption, from the raw materials to build them, to the fuel required to sustain them, and the waste generated by them. Despite an improvement in building energy efficiency, 2021 saw carbon emissions from building and construction hit an all-time high. Suppose that a house could … Read more

Mustardseed Earthbag School in Uganda

Localworks has created the Mustardseed Junior School in Uganda with organically shaped classrooms built from natural and locally sourced materials.¬† The earthbag walls are filled with soil from the site. The 1,146-square-meter (12,335 sf) building is used as both a kindergarten and primary school for local children. No two rooms are the same, which means … Read more

Building an Earthbag Dome at Vanirah Farm

The folks at Vanirah Farm in India have been building an earthbag/superadobe dome that will function as a winter community kitchen. Building the main structure with earthbags was fast, but the finishing work has taken a lot of time. They are also building a large earthbag rainwater harvesting tank. This video shows some of the … Read more

Are Basements a Good Idea?

My last blog post was about a free online version of Making Better Building by Chris Magwood. In reading through some of his introductory comments about foundations, I came across this statement: “In much of North America, foundations have been twinned with conditioned, subgrade living space: the basement. In many markets, having a basement is … Read more