The number one misunderstanding is about the difference between insulation and thermal mass. Insulation slows the flow of energy from one side of the wall to the other and a thermal mass is an energy battery that stores heat or cold and releases it slowly. I see almost every day someone describing cob or rammed earth as insulative when those materials are strictly thermal mass.
In this article we'll focus on some of the options available to people on a small and personal scale to help you to regain your independence and security with this essential resource and help to reduce contamination and waste without giving up the convenience and luxuries we all enjoy.
For years now, attention-grabbing posts about cute little natural houses have been popping up on blogs and social media sites. These articles claim that the houses cost as little as $5,000 or less! How in the world do they make those adorable little houses for only a few thousand dollars? Well the short answer is that they don't.
Toilets and poop are always the uncomfortable and squeamish topics that we try to keep away from pleasant conversation, but are also two of the things we should really start talking about, because both are incredibly important to the home and garden systems of anyone hoping to live more sustainably.
In this article we'll explore the three most common types of plaster, discuss their benefits and limitations, and talk about why they're the best option for home finishings, not only in natural homes, but in conventional homes too.
Before getting started on any earthen building project you have to be able to tell if the soil you'll be using is suitable for construction. There are two main ways to test your subsoil for clay and other mineral content.
His only previous experience in the building trades were a few home carpentry projects, and his master's degree in Social Anthropology wasn't of much help with the hands on aspect. The house he moved into had been built by his partner who also had no previous building experience before starting on the home, and so Charlie was encouraged to see that at least the basics of construction might be approachable for a beginner.
Mud brick building techniques make up some of the richest and most enduring traditions in construction, and there are countless examples of its use in buildings all around the world.
cob refers to a mixture of clay subsoil, sand, straw, and water that is mixed together to make a malleable mud that is formed into monolithic walls. When the cob dries it becomes hard and creates incredibly durable walls and columns.
“I had money, but it was all in the market,”she told me with a laugh, “so I started researching what it would take to build everything myself.” Already in her sixties, Jan got to work, not only building adobes, but going as far as to take, and pass, the required tests to become a permitted electrician and plumber on her project.