“After several decades as an airline executive (including Delta president, Virgin America CEO and Lufthansa president/CEO), Fred Reid could have built a McMansion, but instead he chose to grow his home without taking on debt and embracing nature by adding small outbuildings. Read more from > Deconstructing luxury in small home + tiny cabin + treehouse
The recent story about Cliven Bundy, the rancher in southeast Nevada who’s been harassed by the BLM, is not alone in his fight for land rights. Here’s a story from last year about one of Bundy’s neighbors. The point is to look into the facts instead of making a knee-jerk decision based on mainstream talking points. All the while keep in mind that what happens to these ranchers could very well be coming your way someday if these government agencies are not reined in. Read more from > Federal Judge Rules for Property Rights, Smacks Down Abusive Feds
“Hello, I’m Ember and I’d like to share my earthbag building experience. Last summer I moved onto a small family farm called Laughing Heart to learn about earthbag building, permaculture and community living. Read more from > Laughing Heart: Building An Earthbag Home
SolarAid: Creative distribution brings solar lights to East Africa’s rural poor
Ashden Gold Award 2013 Read more from > SolarAid
“The Nomad Foundation — Combining ancient skills with new technologies to bring prosperity to nomadic people. Read more from > The Nomad Foundation
We recently posted an announcement about the availability of this book, but since then I have had a chance to finish reading it, and have reviewed it below.
Chris Magwood’s Making Better Buildings is a comparative guide to sustainable construction for homeowners and contractors. It is also a masterpiece of research and experience folded into an encyclopedic reference book for anyone interested in sustainable approaches to our built environment. Clearly a labor of love and a commitment to improving our situation on Earth, this book will have enduring value.
To my knowledge, building science has never been approached with such an attitude of precise evaluation of all of the factors that affect the environmental impact of materials and building systems. Chris Magwood looks at both common, and not-so-common, ways of building to see how they stack up against each other, giving the reader the opportunity to compare every environmental and economic aspect. His criteria for this evaluation embrace environmental impacts, embodied energy, waste, energy efficiency, material costs, labor inputs, ease of construction for homeowners, sourcing/availability, durability, code compliance, indoor air quality, and future development. The environmental impacts include harvesting the material, manufacturing, transportation, and installation. Simple bar graphs indicate at a glance just how “green” each material or system might be. Read more from > Making Better Buildings — a Review