Search The Infography: 
The Infography

Construction -- Natural Home

The following sources are recommended by a professor whose research specialty is natural home construction.


Six Superlative Sources

· Chiras, Daniel D. The Natural House: A Complete Guide to Healthy, Energy-Efficient, Enviornmental Homes. Chelsea Green, 2000. A comprehnsive and objective examination of 14 natural building techniques with extensive coverage of many other important details for creating a sustainable home, including site selection, green building materials, sustainable systems for energy, water, and waste, and practical advice on how to build your own home.

· Kennedy, Joseph F. (ed). The Art of Natural Building: Design, Construction, Technology. Kingston, NM: Networks Productions, 2001. Compilation of well-written articles based on presentations on numerous natural building methods made at one of the Natural Building Colloquia. Not comprehensive, but covers many important topics.

· Pearson, David. The New Natural House Book: Creating a Healthy, Harmonious, and Ecologically Sound Home. Simon and Schuster, 1998. Beautifully illustrated book that covers a wide range of topics, although not in much depth. More inspirational than informative, but still a valuable resource.

· Elizabeth, Lynne, and Cassandra Adams (eds). Alternative Construction: Contemporary Natural Building Methods. Wiley, 2000.

· Hart, Kelly. Contains information about numerous natural building technologies, including rammed earth, adobe, straw bale, tire homes, and a host of others.

· The Last Straw. Quarterly journal containing the latest information on straw bale construction and other aspects of natural building and sustainable systems. Annual resource issue contains a gold mine of information.

Other Excellent Sources

· Environmental Building News. A bimonthly newsletter aimed at builders, architects, and owner-builders. Some people consider this to be the leading newsletter on environmental design and construction.

· Environmental Design and Construction. Extremely valuable resource for anyone interested in sustainable design and building.

· Easton, David. The Rammed Earth House. Chelsea Green, 1996. An informative, highly readable book. A must for anyone considering this technology.

· King, Bruce. Buildings of Earth and Straw. Ecological Design Press, 1996. Another essential reading for anyone interested in building a rammed earth home.

· Myhrman, Matts, and S.O. MacDonald. Build It with Bales (Version 2.0): A Step-by-Step Guide to Straw-Bale Construction. Tucson: Out on Bale, 1998. A superbly illustrated manual on straw bale construction.

· Steen, Athena S., Bill Steen, David Bainbridge, and David Eisenberg. The Straw Bale House. Chelsea Green, 1994. Contains a wealth of information on straw bale construction and numerous drawings and photos.

· Reynolds, Michael. Earthship: Build Your Own. Vol. I. Solar Survival Press, 1990. A must read for those wanting to understand the basics of early Earthship design. This book contains some outdated information, however, so be careful. Be sure to read the more current volumes and check out the Earthship Chronicles for up-to-date information.

· Reynolds, Michael. Earthship: Systems and Components. Vol. II. Solar Survival Press, 1990. Explains the various systems such as graywater, solar electric, and domestic hot water. Essential reading for all people interested in sustainable housing.

· Reynolds, Michael. Earthship: Evolution Beyond Economics. Vol. 3. Solar Survival Press, 1993. Presents many of the new developments. Latest information, however, is always to be learned in workshops, tours of new houses, and the Earthship Chronicles.

· Berlant, Steve. The Natural Builder, Vol. 1, Creating Architecture from Earth. The Natural Builder, 1999. Discusses many earthen building technologies, especially adobe. This book is an extremely valuable resource.

· Berlant, Steve. The Natural Builder, Vol. 2, Monolithic Adobe Known as English Cob. The Natural Builder, 1999. Great introduction to cob. Very detailed and well documented.

· McHenry, Paul G. Adobe and Rammed Earth Buildings: Design and Construction. University of Arizona Press, 1984. Excellent reference, covering history, soil selection, adobe brick manufacturing, adobe wall construction, and many more topics.

· McHenry, Paul G. Adobe: Build It Yourself. University of Arizona Press, 1985. Highly readable and surprisingly thorough introduction to many aspects of adobe construction.

· Smith, Michael G. The Cobber's Companion: How to Build Your Own Earthen Home. 2nd Edition. The Cob Cottage Company, 1998. Well written introduction to cob, with many excellent and useful illustrations.

· Roy, Rob. Complete Book on Cordwood Masonry Housebuilding: The Earthwood Method. Sterling, 1992. Contains a wealth of information on cordwood construction.

· Roy, Rob (ed.). Continental Cordwood Conferences Collected Papers. Earthwood Building School, 1994. A transcript of 25 presentations by leaders in the field.

· Roy, Rob (ed.). Continental Cordwood Conferences Collected Papers. Earthwood Building School, 1999. Papers from the 1999 Continental Cordwood Conference covering everything from electrical to economic analysis to cob as mortar to the latest innovations in the use of cement retarders. Includes papers from Japan, Wales, Chile, Sweden, Canada, and the United States.

· Roy, Rob Basic Cordwood Masonry Techniques with Rob and Jaki Roy. Earthwood Building School. An 88-minute video that shows you how to bark wood, mix mortar, build cordwood walls, lay up window frames, and attach door frames. It discusses wood and curing, how to estimate quantities of wood, and lots more.

· Burch, Monte. Complete Guide to Building Log Homes. Sterling Publishing, 1984. Excellent book with numerous photos and drawings.

· Chambers, Robert W. Log Building Construction Manual. River Falls, WI:, 1999. If you are serious about building your own hand-crafted log home, read this detailed, well-illustrated book. Even comes in a metric version. Contains an extensive list of resources.

· Long, Charles. The Stone Builder's Primer: A Step-by-Step Guide for Owner-Builders. Firefly Books, 1998. Contains the most complete instructions on stone home building of the books I've read or reviewed.

· McRaven, Charles. Building with Stone. Storey Books, 1989. Contains a wealth of information on collecting stones and building stone walls.

· McRaven, Charles. Stonework: Techniques and Projects. Storey Books, 1997. Covers the use of stone to build walls, paths, ponds, steps, and much more.

· Schwenke, Karl, and Sue Schwenke. Build Your Own Stone House: Using the Easy Slipform Method. Storey Books, 1991. Great little primer on the subject of stone house construction, featuring the slip form method.

· Farrelly, David. The Book of Bamboo. Sierra Club and Random House, 1995. Explains the benefits of bamboo and the many uses of bamboo over the years. It is best described as part catalog, part history.

· Laporte, Robert. MoosePrints: Holistic Home Building. Natural House Building Center, 1993. The only published source on straw-clay construction. Contains some excellent illustrations, but contains only a fraction of the information you will need to learn this technique.

· Solberg, Gordon. Building with Papercrete and Paper Adobe. Remedial Planet Communications (1999). Collection of well written, detailed articles on papercrete.

· Hunter, Kaki, and Doni Kiffmeyer. Earthbag Construction. OK OK OK Productions, 2000. The only published booklet I've been able to find on earthbag construction. Authors are at work on a book, so until then this will have to do. It is well illustrated, and very useful.

Search The Infography
Advanced Search

   Page Through The Infography Alphabetically   
Constitutional Economics
   Construction -- Natural Home
Construction -- Straw Bale

About The Infography
published by Fields of Knowledge

Long Term Ecological Researh Network

Clicking this button will display the HTML code.

"The Infography about Natural Materials and Methods for Home Construction"
© 2009 Fields of Knowledge
Essex, Iowa 51638-4608 USA