New and Old Sustainable Building Materials

The manufacture of concrete, steel, and glass uses vast amounts of raw materials and water and emits copious amounts of greenhouse gases per year. A staggering 8% of total global carbon dioxide emissions come from cement manufacture alone. Moreover, embodied carbon, which is carbon released over the entire life cycle of a building, including end-of-life … Read more

Common Insulation Products

There are various types of insulation products, depending on where you want to position them – roof, walls, floor. Most are available as rolls or boards, which are fitted between wall studs and roof joists. Mineral wool (aka Rockwool) Available in slabs, stone wool is easy to lay vertically or horizontally. It’s denser than fiberglass, … Read more

Pros and Cons of Container Homes

Minimalist housing, like tiny homes, van living, and container homes, has taken off in the past decade, in part due to the skyrocketing costs of home ownership that make traditional houses inaccessible to many people. Part of the appeal of container homes is that they are a chance to recycle old shipping containers, giving them … Read more

The Strawtegi CO2ttage in Salt Lake City

The Strawtegi CO2ttage broke ground in October, 2021, as the first permitted structure in the U.S. insulated with dense-packed chopped straw. This net-zero carbon, modular, straw panel Accessory Dwelling Unit in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the first demonstration project and test build of Strawtegi, Inc.  The 650 square foot building demonstrates how we can … Read more

Straw Bale Building in Pennsylvania

Diane Ferguson, a former environmental health professor, has always dreamed of building a house made of natural materials. Her ideal home has about 650 straw bales stacked together with bamboo stakes driven through them. The straw is then plastered on the interior with an earthen plaster and the exterior with limestone plaster. Diane worked with … Read more