Informative Presentations at the NBC

Along with all of the the outdoor hands-on workshops at the Natural Building Colloquium were even more indoor presentations, mostly accompanied by slides. It was impossible to attend them all, so I’ll report on just a few of them.

I had two opportunities to do presentations myself, both about earthbag building around the world, as well as the time that I presented what I knew about rebuilding Nepal with earthbags to the design charette on that topic. These were well received and people were amazed at the extraordinary variety of earthbag projects on every continent.

Robert LaPorte and Paula Baker-LaPorte, a design/build team did a nice retrospective of the work they have done under the banner of EcoNest. They have specialized in light straw/clay building.

Jacob Racusin, one of the authors of The Natural Building Companion did a two part presentation about building science for natural builders that had many people talking about it for days.

Ziggy Liloia, blogger on The Year of Mud, did a very moving presentation about his tribulations with building his first cob home at Dancing Rabbit in Missouri. I was quite impressed with his willingness to reveal the many costly mistakes that he had made along the way.

Art Ludwig with David Eisenberg in the backgroung
Art Ludwig with David Eisenberg in the backgroung

An intensive two part discussion about building codes was presented by David Eisenberg (of The Development Center for Appropriate Technology), Art Ludwig (of Oasis Design), Martin Hammer (of Builders without Borders) and Bruce King, an engineer. Bruce King also did a presentation entitled Natural Building, Unnatural Building, and the future of Building, with many worthwhile insights.

Catherine Wanek, who was the host of the entire Colloquium at the Black Range Lodge, did a presentation about the history and work of Builders without Borders.

Janell Kapoor of Kleiwerks Internlational did a retrospective of the wonderful work they have done around the world.


Linda Smiley and Ianto Evans did another retrospective of the work of the Cob Cottage Company, which literally introduce cob building to North America many years ago.

Bill Steen of the Canelo Project talked about what they have learned about straw and clay over the years.

Chris Magwood (of the Endeavor Center), along with Jacob Racusin presented about cold climate natural building as well as about low carbon design and construction.

Rob and Jaki Roy did a retrospective look at what they have done at the Earthwood Building School in New York, especially with cordwood construction.

Randolph Langenbach, an architect specializing in historic preservation, presented on Traditional is Modern; What Natural Buildings can Teach Us. I found this particularly informative regarding traditional elements that can enhance seismic resilience.

Flemming and Karen Abrahamsson presented about natural building in Denmark.

Matts Myhrman did a particularly humorous presentation about Historic Nebraska Bale Buildings: Images and Inspiration.

What I have mentioned here is really only about half of all the presentations. This is intended to just give a taste of the breadth of information imparted by so many pillars of the natural building community.

1 thought on “Informative Presentations at the NBC”

  1. thankyou for a taste of the event! now asking for help!!!! people! to help me build a little earth bag dome in Mojave Desert; how without our clay and sand? just poof dirt and below, calchite! see what we have done past 4 years and start now again in a new site, nearby, we had goofed on spot! appreciate ideas, thoughts, clues, hang on to this your blog! jehane for 3 Moons project, check out on face book


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