We’ve just added a poll on the right sidebar that asks readers “What topics would you most like to see on our Natural Building Blog?” The choices in the poll are the same as those listed in the text box at the top of the page where we explain the Mission of our site: Architecture, Gardening, Homesteading, Appropriate technology, Renewable energy, Permaculture and Ecological living. Please vote for your favorite types of content so we can make the Natural Building Blog even more popular and effective. (You can vote for more than one topic.)

Feel free to leave a comment below or email me if you have more specific topics in mind.


Comments

Poll — What Type of Articles Would You Like to See? — 27 Comments

  1. Hi Owen. I’m back in the US (from Ethiopia). I like your how-to subjects for daily living e.g., solar water heaters. Do you have an archive?

    • Our blog is an archive. It can be searched by keyword or topic using the built-in search engine. Also, you can search our blog from google, which I often do because it’s easier to find things that way.

  2. Ways to green the desert. I’d love a forest garden but my land gets 7 inches of a rain a year. Growing *anything* is an order of magnitude more difficult here than anywhere else I’ve ever lived.

    • I found another great story on this topic that I will publish soon. It explains how you can turn the absolute worst soil (salty sandy soil)) into a lush self sustaining forest in about 7 years. The people doing it are world famous and the technical know how is well documented.

  3. This blog has inspired me to rethink modern life!
    When I get down about the state we’re in, I read a little more about the huge variety of ways people are striving to make a better life for themselves and the wider world. I like the way these ideas can spread….even just talking to a few people in your circle seems to make a small difference.

    I grew up in Africa eating fresh food, breathing clean air….my grandparents built their earth house….life was simple and good. I want that for my family. My next house( a cave) will be renovated using natural methods, and I’ll rope in all the young people I know to help. I’m starting a natural building course in the UK soon, with Straw Works School of Natural building. http://www.strawworks.co.uk.

    This has all been supported by your blog. Keep doing what you’re doing..and Thank You!

  4. 1)Code compliant, high performance or more sustainable/durable techniques and products.

    2)important/functional/interesting architectural themes

    3)scientific or independent testing

    4)Building science

  5. This website is fantastic. It is essential daily reading – even if a topic is not immediately relevant, it is bound to give ideas. Mixing in your website with the ones relating to Permaculture, rocket stoves, cob building, various environmental websites, etc etc is a way to aim for a sustainable world – the only world that will enable humans to continue to survive. The frightening thing is that so much of the Western world still have completely the wrong, outdated priorities. Please carry on with the same mix of articles that you bring us. One thing that I particularly love seeing is your videos about your garden, and how it is progressing. Although not immediately relevant to the UK where I live, it is still a useful source of ideas. Thank you for being such inspiring people, and giving such inspiring information.

    • Thanks Phil. See today’s blog post with an update on our garden. I’d love to make dozens of videos about our garden since everything about this project is super fun and exciting. However, I spend 99% of my time in the garden shoveling and other similar chores and there’s precious little time for making videos. I keep thinking “maybe someday… maybe someday when the soil is really good and all the small plants are filled in and thriving… then maybe I’ll do regular videos showing the details. Ah, but now we bought more land and so there will likely be years more of similar work.

  6. i would like to see more instructibles. photos. and timelaps videos. foundation development and pluming designs for small house or cabins.

    love this site. love this work and have great admiration for all participants in this great art of earthbag building.

    to Owen and all the people who make this possible many thanks and many blessings to you all.

  7. Owen, Thanks for all the great information and ideas. I read every new post, and find 90% of them have something helpful or useful for me. Currently looking into building a rural cluster of cottages on 15 acres in western Washington, so all suitable topics are on the table. I have found Christopher Alexander’s books quite interesting, especially on the patterns and designs which have proven to be life giving, dealing with light, spatial qualities, flow, community enhancement. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you. And I agree about Christopher Alexander’s books. They are essential for every architect, home designer and anyone designing their own home.

  8. Owen you Rock. Thanks to you I bought a 100sqm “Ruin” in the Canary Island debtfree with a couple of Acres around it and rebuild it to be a completely Off-Grid permaculture farm with 50 € annual bills (for taxes) with a view on the ocean and for just a 5th of what it would have cost me to buy an appartement in downtown Berlin where I used to live depressed and detached from nature. So thanks a lot for that.

    And I love your selection of topics so far. I maybe would like to see some more of the appropriate technology section. Like this german product here:http://www.gruenspar.de/martin-elektrotechnik-sparsteuerung-ms1002plus.html (it is german only but google translate does the job) which uses hotwater off your solarheatersystem and mixes it automatically with cold water to run your washing machine and dishwascher so the machines do not have to heat the water and you save 80 % of energy in the process. So your solar system can be significantly smaller and still power these convinience machines. I use it with my solarsystem and it works great without it I would not beableto wash hot…

  9. You really can’t go wrong. I check pretty much every post since I’ve subscribed to emails and have no complaints. Yours is one of, if not the most influential natural building websites in existence, and the only one that I frequent. That said, for self-serving purposes, these are some suggestions and my reason for wanting to see more on these topics (which may be too much information):

    Ferrocement technologies (e.g. basalt and fiberglass)? And/or Faux-Bois building practices?

    Scoria earthbag updates (Joe Newman and/or Kelly Hart) – the need for long term maintenance and techniques used ( otherwise, I believe you’ve covered this in brief for someone else’s earthbag dome where they used stucco)?

    Recycled EPS Foam or pour foam concrete mixes (I know is covered on your site but not extensively) If recycled EPS, then R-value?

    Reason: I hope to build a thin shell concrete post and beam structure using a (sacred) geometric pattern to minimize need of materials while ensuring structural integrity, and infilling walls of either scoria earth bags or foam-crete of maybe a 16/1 mix, not sure?

    Although, my structure will not be a house or home. It will be an Art Gallery! An additional caveat: Art galleries are exempt from land-use code where I intend to build it. -And as eating and therefore the place designated for the preparation of food, rest and a place designated for sleep, the practice of relieving oneself and the facilities to do so, and etc. are all in the exercise of unalienable rights – I, as a living fixture and exhibit in relationship to my art gallery, will have these resources on hand for their exercise. In fact, they will be very much in part of the Art :)

    Just a heads up, I scour the internet looking for information on these subject and it’s not always easy to find.

    But nevertheless, Thank you for an awesome website

    • Thank you for the kind words and support. You hit the nail on the head so to speak near the end of your comment when you said “these subjects are not easy to find”. That’s the problem many times when people request very specific information. Information like that is probably in some book somewhere, but how could we get it to share with others online? So the Internet is great for general information, but if you want really detailed information about ferrocement or hypar roofs or whatever you’ll probably want to buy the best books available. Or get them through inter-library loan.

    • We don’t cover thatching very often in part because it’s not allowed by codes in most areas due to fire risk. And two, the methods and materials are quite location specific.

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