Vetiver and Rice Hull/Clay

If you’ve been watching our videos, you’ve seen us making various earthen blocks. This one here is the best one so far. It has clay and rice hulls. Another very good block was the clay with vetiver grass. So I had the idea to combine the best – the rice hulls and the vetiver. That’s … Read more

Will Natural Building Readily Take Off?

Here’s a response I made to a reader over on the Mother Earth News Blog who said “This type of building for people is not going to readily take off.” Owen: It’s all a matter of perspective, because over 1/3 (some estimate ½) of the houses in the world fall into this category! This includes … Read more

Instructable: How to Build Dirt Cheap Houses

Ever wonder how to build a simple home for very little money, without going into debt? The key is to use low-cost, locally available natural materials such earth, small diameter wood and straw to keep expenses to a minimum. The real fun is incorporating all of these methods into an optimum, comfortable, affordable home. Our … Read more

Sustainable Building

Sometimes we’re in a hurry and don’t always take time to think carefully about what we’re reading. This post links key sustainable building concepts to Wikipedia to facilitate further research. There have been lots of articles lately on sustainable building, also called green building and natural building, but what is it really? Sustainable building is … Read more

Earth Building in Thailand

Interview with Peggy Reents and Thana Joe Uthaipattrakoon (nickname Joe). Owen: I first heard about earth building in Thailand from Janell Kapoor of Kleiwerks International fame who said there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me and so I’ve set out to learn the details about the modern earth building … Read more

Earthbag in Comparison to Adobe

You can still see adobe ruins scattered across the southwest. Even though the roofs have long since rotted away, the walls are still standing after decades or even 100 years or more of neglect. Clearly, adobe is pretty tough stuff, in part because clay platelets closely align themselves and bond together. It’s fairly straightforward to … Read more