natural building

Modern day building utilizes man-made materials that can be harmful to the environment. Even natural materials, like wood, utilize fossil fuels in order to be milled into the final product.

Everything from steel to plastic is used in modern building, and the resources needed to create those materials are not renewable.

Alternatively, traditional building methods make use of natural materials such as straw, cob, stone, and sand. These materials can stand up to all sorts of weather and have been used by different cultures all across the world.

If you’re new to natural building methods and want to learn more, check out our list of alternative building methods.

Recent Natural Building Posts

  • the geodesic dome house

    Geodesic Domes

    Geodesic domes are enjoying a resurgence as more people seek out eco-friendly building options . Architect Buckminster Fuller invented the geodesic dome. The American Institute of Architects calls it “the strongest, lightest and most efficient means of enclosing space known to man.” No doubt you’ve seen geodesic domes before. Some as public structures, some as […] More

  • findhorn community nature sanctuary

    Wofati

    There’s a charm to underground homes and so-called ‘hobbit homes’, but many former owners of such buildings have moved out due to problems with moisture and related conditions. But, earth might be the best insulator available, and it’s definitely the cheapest. Permaculturalist Paul Wheaton, owner of the forums at permies.com as well as richsoil.com, set […] More

  • Earthbag Dome House

    How To Build An Earthbag House For $6,164

    In this post, guest author Jay Eisenberg details how he and his wife built their earthbag house for $6,164, completed on Oahu recently in 2017. For years I had dreamed of building my own home and not being enslaved with a mortgage. While living in New Zealand I was connected with Shaye Boddington of DIY […] More

  • frame made from barn wood

    How To Build A Barn Wood Frame

    It is hard not to admire old barns that are resting, quietly in old, abandoned farm fields. I often wonder what stories they could tell. This insight would provide a pivotal history to its former owner and the landscape the barns guard with a watchful eye. A few months ago, a friend of mine was […] More

  • chair_1_growing_furniture

    Growing Furniture

    Train and graft a tree for half a dozen years or so and you have strong, local, one piece (tree) furniture. One piece wood chairs, no joints. Partially planed. The first chairs are expected to be in galleries mid-2017. by FullGrown, UK. One piece tree chair. The trees are harvested in winter and then allowed to […] More

  • birch-bark-side-table

    Bark Furniture And Accessories

    Birch-Bark is waterproof and will not rot, its familiar surface is richly graphic. Birch-Bark has been used for millennia in the making of canoes, wigwams, scrolls, Buddhist manuscripts, maps (including the oldest maps of North America), art, torches, fans, musical instruments, shoes, clothing, as a substratum for sod, birch-bark roofs and more… Birch Armoire-style-Cabinet-Louis-XV-style by Marché Dauphine – 140, rue […] More

  • cob fireplace

    Cob Fireplaces

    Cob Fireplaces… Cob fireplace. americanclay.com Cob fireplace in Hilde Dawe’s house, British Columbia. onelessbrickinthewall.com Cob fireplace by Charles Andre. www.fasttraxfilmcorp.ca Cob fireplace (Rumford) www.firespeaking.com Cob Fireplace. Budownictwo Naturalne. earth-heart-grupa.blogspot.com More

  • Alternative Building Methods

    Alternative Building Methods: www.greenhomebuilding.com Green Home Building. Info about Earth, Wood, Straw, Bamboo, Stone, Manufactured, Lightweight Concrete, Organic, Domes, Earth Sheltered, etc. www.naturalbuildingnetwork.org Natural Building Network is a not-for-profit membership association promoting natural building principles, materials and practitioners worldwide. Good events list. www.earthbagbuilding.com Earth Bag Building– earthbag (sometimes called sandbag) construction. Lots of pictures, videos, […] More

  • Wattle Edging

    Wattle edging has surrounded kitchen gardens since gardening began. Has seasonal pruning left you with numerous, long, flexible tree suckers and saplings? You will need to move fast, as those branches will become too stiff to weave soon after cutting. Drive stakes. Weave like a basket. The firmer you press the wattle down, the sturdier the fence […] More

  • Hedge Laying

    Over two thousand years older than chain link. A living hedge not only keeps livestock fenced but also prevents soil erosion and water runoff. Living hedges are good wind blocks and snow collectors as well as habitat to birds, insects and small mammals. And they sequester carbon, rather than produce it, such as during the […] More

  • Wattle Fence

    Wattle is woven wood fencing. Hurdles are woven wattle fencing panels. Historically moveable hurdles were employed for pasture and livestock rotation. We have been wattle making (wattling) since Neolithic times. How To Weave A Wattle Fence The upright stakes are sometimes called “sales” and the saplings called ‘weavers’. Hazel, willow, sweet chestnut, plum, forsythia or any supple, long, straight, slender saplings make […] More

  • The Art Of The Dry Stack Stone Wall

    Dry (without mortar) stone work in the hands of a skilled waller is an art form. An art form that will last multiple lifetimes and serves multiple functions. Using but one tool; the hammer, and much patience and strength, a skilled waller can lay yards of fence per day. Most modern wallers do not like […] More

  • Living Willow Hedges

    You can call them willow hedges but maybe a more accurate term? “Fedges” = fence + hedge. Willows, sallows, and osiers form the genus Salix (Latin for willow), a grouping of 400-ish species of deciduous trees and shrubs. Willow are native to moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Almost all […] More