The Values of Straw Bale Houses

Straw bale houses are gaining popularity due to their ecological and sustainable nature. These unique homes are built using straw as either the primary structural element or insulation or both, providing a natural and renewable way of building. Straw bale homes offer exceptional insulation properties that help you keep your house warm during colder months … Read more

Hemp Has Helped Preserve the Ellora Caves in India

The Ellora Caves in Mumbai Harbour are a magnificent complex of rock-cut caves with artwork dating back to 1000 CE, but the formations have stood the test of time.  Archaeologists have wondered why they were in such good condition. Was it a special kind of rock that served as the foundation? Were there ancient principles … Read more

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

The Value of Straw Wattle Walls

I recently received this message from Patti Stouter, who has been a long time advocate and experimenter with earthbags and other natural technologies, especially as a means for surviving earthquakes and other calamities: I am beginning a test shelter project of straw wattle that may be helpful in both Ukraine and Turkey, so this report … Read more

How to Make Cob to Code in America

A Cob Construction Appendix has recently been approved for inclusion in the International Residential Building codes in the United States and a number of other countries. The new code requires builders to test their cob mixes for shrinkage, compressive strength, and, in some cases, modulus of rupture. The shrinkage test is the most straightforward and … Read more