Rammed Earth Housing in Canada

Tony Johnson runs Earth House Holdings in Sooke, B.C., Canada. He specializes in rammed earth like his own house featured here. He used steel rebar and wool insulation, which results in exceptional strength when it comes to earthquakes and a much more insulated envelope for the colder Canadian climate. It is extremely energy efficient due … Read more

Hempcrete is Spreading Around the World

Hemp mixed with lime can create a low-carbon, more climate friendly building material than concrete. “There’s an enormous growth potential in the US for hemp fiber used for building and insulation,” said Kaja Kühl, founder of youarethecity, a design and building practice. “Hemp was only legalized in 2018, but now industrial hemp is following the … Read more

Historical and Modern Use of Seaweed for Building

Seaweed has been used in constructing buildings since the the ancient Greeks, who used the material as wall insulation. They would fill wooden frames with seaweed and cover them with plaster or clay in order to keep their homes warm. Also Danish people would use seaweed in home construction, and 20 houses from the Viking … Read more

Integrating Earth and Bamboo

Penny Livingston-Stark is a designer and professor of permaculture who has worked for 25 years in the field of regenerative design based on non-toxic natural materials. She insists on the compatibility between bamboo and earth. Their similarities and differences help them to integrate remarkably well. “Earth and bamboo are not compatible with plastic vapor barriers … Read more

“Mycocrete” May Eventually Replace Foam, Timber and Plastic

Researchers from Newcastle University have crafted a new bio-based material called “mycocrete”. Using mycelium combined with additional natural materials, the team can grow a tightly wound substrate stronger than previous mycelium materials. The knitted design can create 3D shapes without seams or waste. “Our ambition is to transform the look, feel, and well-being of architectural … Read more

16 Essential Steps to Straw Bale Success

If you go to strawbale.com you can download a free subscription to “16 Essential Steps to Straw Bale Success” e-course.  For over two weeks you’ll receive a daily and information-packed lesson about straw bale construction in your inbox. Over 50,000 people have read it so far! Everything from  Design, Choosing Best Bales, Creating Custom Bales, Creating Niches, Prep … Read more