Skylos: 3D Printed Mud and Straw

When visitors to the San Luis Valley in Colorado stay at the Frontier Drive-Inn, they have access to a circle of unique structures that blend ancient materials with modern technology. Cylindrical silos with open air ceilings called Skylos are made out of locally-harvested adobe—sand, silt, clay, water, and straw. Designed and built by architect Ron … Read more

Earthen Building Regains Popularity in Hungary

Long derided as old-fashioned symbols of grinding poverty, mud and straw houses are making a comeback in Hungary as a low-cost, eco-friendly alternative to concrete. Master builder Janos Gaspar, who renovates earth houses, says, “I’m booked up for three years. Interest is sky-high.” He has built more than 200 clay houses. Locally accessible materials is … Read more

The Preservation of Historic Buildings in Colorado

Preservationists are in a constant race against time to save historic places at risk of being lost not just to the wrecking ball, but also to neglect and the elements. Each year, Colorado’s Most Endangered Places, a program of Colorado Preservation, Inc., adds new sites to the list. “History is not just museums,” says Katie … Read more

The Magic of Italian Trulli

On the heel of Italy’s boot, small stone huts with conical rock-covered roofs can be seen scattered among the olive trees. These are called trulli and can be found throughout the Itria Valley, where there are approximately 50,000 of them, especially in the town of Alberobello, where there are roughly 1,500 of them. Some trulli … Read more

Restoring an Two Centuries Old Stone House

Iain Ruadh MacMaster arrived on Cape Breton Island from Scotland in 1801. He climbed the slope of his land grant—approximately 200 acres from the shoreline up and over the rise—and built his house on the hillside. Legend has it that a driving rainstorm washed that first house down the hill. So he set to building … Read more

House Gods: Sustainable Buildings and Renegade Builders

Jim Kristofic’s initial intention with his new book House Gods was to expose Navajos to the possibilities of sustainable building techniques and at the same time lessen the footprint of buildings on the environment. Jim was raised on the reservation at Ganado, Arizona. “There are not a lot of passive solar buildings on the reservation … Read more