Re-Imagining the Future of Architecture
Natural Building Blog
by Kelly Hart
1d ago
Ronald Rael, practices architecture and holds a chair at the University of California, Berkeley. His work often connects indigenous and traditional material practices with contemporary technologies. In an interview with ArchDaily, Rael shared some reflections on the evolution of his work, the role of technology in the development of architecture, its social utility, and the role of materials in it. Considering your broad practice—which ranges from materials and technology to social studies—, what is the common thread running through your current work? Ronald Rael: One thing that I think is a c ..read more
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A New Video About Building with Hyperadobe
Natural Building Blog
by Kelly Hart
3d ago
I recently discovered the folks who run tinyshinyhome.com and who have produced a number of video programs. I was particularly impressed with this video about building with hyperadobe that they call “The ULTIMATE GUIDE to Hyperadobe Earthbags: Pros, Cons, & Cost Savings” They say, “After 4 years of experimenting, here’s everything we know about hyperadobe earthbag building – these UV treated raschel mesh tubes present exciting new opportunities, safer build sites, and huge cost savings for those of us building with soil ..read more
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Expo in Qatar Features Rammed Earth
Natural Building Blog
by Kelly Hart
5d ago
Last year’s International Horticultural Expo in Doha, Qatar, showcased the region’s environmental preservation and agricultural innovation. Architecture practice BIG was inspired by the deep roots and intertwined branches of the local Ghaf Tree to create a dome-shaped labyrinth made out of rammed earth. The structure frames a series of exhibition galleries and 32 gardens to create an immersive experience of the UAE’s diverse landscape, from desert to oasis and sea to mountains. Meandering paths lead to an outdoor oasis. Thematic gardens explore the power of plants as a source of food, health ..read more
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Renovating an 18th Century Stone Barn
Natural Building Blog
by Kelly Hart
1w ago
Africa Lao had spent her career designing homes from an office in Barcelona, so when she moved to the country to get closer to nature, she was inspired to transform a crumbling 18th century stone barn into a small, minimal dream home. Located in the middle of protected forest, the location was an urban refugee’s dream, and she was unperturbed by the requirement to only restore what already existed here, which meant remaining within the original 645 sq. ft. footprint. The original barn had two rooms so she dedicated one room for daytime and the other for nighttime. To create a bathroom and clos ..read more
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The Future of Straw Bale SIPs
Natural Building Blog
by Kelly Hart
1w ago
Natural building communities have striven for decades to establish straw as a viable building material, but have until recently focused primarily on fostering labor intensive hand-stacked straw bale construction methods. Progressive architects, engineers, and builders have incrementally refined the method of straw bale construction such that the best built straw bale homes rival the performance, durability, and comfort of high-end, high-tech construction—all while dramatically undercutting their embodied carbon. But this method is optimized for the communities from which it arose: scrappy owne ..read more
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The Permaculture Adventure Bundle
Natural Building Blog
by Kelly Hart
1w ago
Running from July 1–4th permies.com is offering a Permaculture Adventure Bundle to help with your sustainable journey. For $35 you can get over $600 worth of merchandise, including Owen Geiger’s Roundhouse Studio Plan (and his Earthbag Building Guide ebook), which is worth $150 in its own right. This comprehensive package of e-books, movies, plans, presentations, and digital magazines includes advice about boosting your garden yields, finding the perfect homestead property, constructing your own natural build, ultimate raised bed gardening, homemade body products, wild crafting and much more ..read more
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The Annual Re-plastering of the Djenne Mosque
Natural Building Blog
by Kelly Hart
1w ago
The annual re-plastering of the Djenne mosque was held with the participation of many people. This is important to maintain the integrity of the world’s largest mud-brick building, which has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage in Danger list since 2016. The mosque and surrounding town were added to the list due to ongoing insecurity in the center of Mali where Djenne is located, on the flood plain of the Bani River. It is a large adobe building in the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style. The first mosque on the site was built around the 13th century, but the current structure dates from 1907. As w ..read more
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Dan Price’s Underground Home
Natural Building Blog
by Kelly Hart
2w ago
When Dan Price returned to his home state of Oregon in 1990 he was determined to avoid mortgages or rent (he and his family had just finished care taking a mansion with a heating bill of $500/month). He found an unused meadow in Joseph, Oregon, and began renting it from his neighbors for $100/year (in exchange for cleaning downed trees and repairing fences). His first underground structure was actually built to shelter his home/office, namely his copy machine, essential for publishing his zine “Moonlight Chronicles” which he started in 1992. In his meadow paradise, Price now also has an underg ..read more
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Biocrusts are Helping to Preserve the Great Wall of China
Natural Building Blog
by Kelly Hart
2w ago
Rammed earth portions of the Great Wall of China have been regarded as a weak point in its structure. But these portions of the wall have developed a natural line of defense against deterioration, a new study has found. These soil surfaces on the Great Wall are covered by a “living skin” of tiny, rootless plants and microorganisms known as biocrusts, according to soil ecologist Matthew Bowker, a coauthor of the study. “Biocrusts are common throughout the world on soils of dry regions, but we don’t typically look for them on human-built structures.” Lichen and moss biocrusts can be a threat to ..read more
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The Many Looks of Iconic Earthships
Natural Building Blog
by Kelly Hart
2w ago
Iconic Earthships take on many shapes and appearances while they embody the same basic concepts of off-grid self sufficiency. Here are some photos demonstrating this variety. You can read the original article at uk.style.yahoo.com ..read more
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