From Angela, a reader in Alaska: “I just wanted to add some updated info. I have been searching high and low for scoria. Alaska doesn’t have readily available sources. I have contacted a long list of people and while we can find the volcanoes and a scoria pit even, there’s no way to get it to the general public. Which really frustrates me because I’m been hot on the trail for a long time trying to build an earthbag home for us. If anybody gets any bit of updated info, please share.”
Porous lava rock — scoria (cinders) and pumice — is an ideal building material. We’ve covered this amazing material many times on our blog, but I just learned something very exciting. It turns out scoria is available in Alaska, British Columbia and to some extent the Yukon. All these areas have cinder cones (a type of volcano) that produce scoria. This is great news because porous lightweight lava rock is a good insulator and also fireproof, rot proof, easy to work with and doesn’t attract pests. It’s affordable if there’s a nearby source to minimize shipping costs. So this discovery makes it practical to build lightweight superinsulated earthbag houses in Alaska and Canada. Use the search engine on the right to search this site for details and example projects.
“Alone in the Wilderness” is the story of Dick Proenneke living in the Alaska wilderness. Dick filmed his adventures so he could show his relatives in the lower 48 states what life was like in Alaska, building his cabin, hunting for food and exploring the area. Bob Swerer has taken the best footage from Dick’s films and he has created 3 videos about Dick, “Alone in the Wilderness”, “Alaska, Silence and Solitude” and “The Frozen North”. You can purchase all of them in DVD or VHS format from the www.DickProenneke.com website.