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

The Ins and Outs of Solar Water Heaters

Solar water heaters vary in design, efficiency, capacity and price, but they all replace a good chunk of the gas or electricity used to heat water with clean, free sunlight. The three basic designs all have a way to collect heat, a tank to store hot water, backup heating for when your system can’t keep … Read more

Designing an Eco-Friendly Home

Marc Berman at has come up with a list of aspects of ecological home design that I think is worth sharing. Selecting the right site is the first step in the design process. Orientation: Take advantage of the sun’s path by orienting your home to maximize natural light and passive solar heating. Position windows … Read more

William Urschel Demonstrates his Wall Building Machine

Filmed in Valparaiso, Indiana in the late 1930’s, William Urschel demonstrates his “Wall Building” machine in this video. According to his patent application in 1944, this invention is a machine operable to mold a solidifiable material into the form of a strip and deposit the same as a course or layer in the formation of … Read more

Extremely Efficient Home in Alaska

A 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom house designed and built by Dr. Tom Marsik and Kristin Donaldson of University of Alaska in Dillingham, Alaska earned World Record Academy‘s “2021 Green House of the Year” honor, after setting the world record for being the World’s Tightest Residential Building. “The main purpose of this world record is to … Read more

Guide to Solar Water Heater Systems has published a Guide to Solar Water Heater Systems that is quite informative. Solar hot water heaters are split into two broad categories: passive and active. Active systems require circulating pumps and passive systems rely on gravity to move water. So active systems require electricity and may use antifreeze to exchange the heat to … Read more