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

A Couple’s Hand Cranked Utopia

In 1978 the Howards were urban professionals. Wanting a simpler, more meaningful life on a smaller budget, the family-of-4 lived on $18K/year, reducing costs to $10K/year after moving to their “intentional” Colorado homestead. They moved into an abandoned double-wide trailer on their 35 acre property and began raising chickens and goats for milk, as well … Read more

Permaculture Technology Jamboree

This event has multiple purposes: collaboration, experimentation and innovation to move permaculture technology forward experiences for people new to permaculture technology building homesteading skills The Jamboree Format: Attendees can wander among all FIFTEEN of the tracks and participate or observe as much or as little as they like. The instructors will see a project to … Read more

3D Printing With Clay, Aggregate and Straw

Terran’s 3D printing system emulates traditional adobe hand-building techniques to produce walls that are soundproof and fireproof. Using reinforcement learning, they are training custom-designed unmanned aerial drones to emulate traditional earthen building techniques. By leveraging the world’s most abundant building materials—clay, aggregate, and straw—Terran walls save 50% on construction costs versus conventional stick-built walls. Terran’s … Read more

Building with Wood-Joinery

This video is a journey following the sustainable harvesting and milling of trees, the forging of timber-frame chisels and the cutting of the joinery to build a timber-frame. This structure will soon be filled with earthen walls of adobe bricks, cob and wattle & daub. See www.caneloproject.com. You can watch the video at www.youtube.com

Designing Highly-Sustainable Buildings

Earlier this month I participated in a webinar titled Designing Highly-Sustainable Buildings featuring the Sketchup software team, along with Sefaira, a plugin that calculates various aspects of energy use pertaining to the design. A representative from an architectural firm that uses the software explained how they go about their designing, which is mostly for commercial … Read more