Owen Geiger’s new ebook -- 25 Small Sustainable House Plans is now available!

Owen Geiger’s new ebook — 25 Small Sustainable House Plans is now available!

25 Small Sustainable House Plans by Dr. Owen Geiger provides a fascinating selection of innovative house plans, along with an overview of the most efficient natural building methods – strawbale, earthbag and sustainably harvested wood. Go beyond the basics and learn how to use free or low-cost natural building materials to build your dream home free of debt, with the least amount of time and labor. Get the lowdown on the best natural building methods — what really works and why. This book is a downloadable ebook costing only $20.

In this book you will find:
* 25 low-cost, DIY, sustainable house designs, many of which can be built for less than $10,000
* 118 drawings of low cost, alternative building ideas
* Roundhouses, domes, hexagonal, pavilion style, organic and rectilinear designs
* Designs that can be combined to create unique custom homes
* Earth-bermed, earth-sheltered, passive solar and superinsulated house designs
* Zero-energy houses and energy-efficient construction
* Overview of the most efficient thick-wall natural building methods
* Earthbag and strawbale greenhouses
* Cool pantries and why every house should have one
* Free 85-page Earthbag Building Guide with each house plan order

This book is for all those who want affordable housing, to save energy and/or live off-grid, build small and lessen their environmental impact. This book provides detailed house plans that are suitable for a wide range of climates using the most efficient natural building methods and materials such as strawbale, earthbag building and sustainably harvested wood. In addition to innovative house plans, there are photos, detail drawings and expert advice on what works best, in a price range affordable to almost everyone.

The book is a great introduction, giving a lot of detail. Complete plans and specifications for specific houses are also available for purchase as PDF downloads. See the House Plans part of our menu for more about specific house plans you can buy if you wish.

This new PDF ebook is now available online from a download site for $20.

Ordering information

Owen has chosen to distribute this ebook himself using the high-speed file transfer service Dropbox along with the assistance of long-time Natural Building Blog reader Zafra Miriam. She designed and did the page layouts for this book, and helped do the Spanish version of my Earthbag Building Guide, so I’m confident in her abilities and reliability. To purchase the book, you may use PayPal by clicking here:

For all other payment options (check, money order, electronic transfer, etc.), please write to Zafra directly at zaframiriam (at) gmail.com and she will get back to you promptly. Regardless of the payment method you choose, please make sure that you include the email address where you would like to receive the book, somewhere in your transaction.

After payment is completed, Zafra will send you the file via Dropbox as soon as humanly possible. (Please note the word humanly – this is not an automatic download.) Some orders might go through practically instantaneously, others will be completed within a couple of hours, and a few might take several hours especially if you place your order from a time zone that is very different from US Eastern Standard Time. Every effort will be made to make the process as quick and painless as possible. Your patience and your purchase are greatly appreciated!


25 Small, Sustainable House Plans, by Owen Geiger — 20 Comments

  1. Love your site and can do attitude!
    I watched a video awhile back and can’t find it; perhaps u can help me.
    It was about a couple with 3 teenage kids who built a earthbag 2 story round dome structure in a Arizona desert setting. Husband was a contractor and they filmed the whole project. First floor was underground room where the kids could practice their loud band music and the music would be muffled. Upstairs was a community room where the kids could hang out with their friends.
    Secondly is there a video that shows how to use the long bags to build a dome and the advantages?

    • Either search YouTube carefully or try our Videos page at Earthbag Building.com where all the best videos are saved.

      Doni and Kaki and Khalili have lots of dome building info.

  2. 2 retirees building a small house & greenhouse on land in New Mexico, wanting to do much of the work ourselves without killing ourselves… we are tempted to use perlite or scoria (both available locally) due to the easier labor, but we do want an earth-bermed home. We have a great south-facing south-sloping site.

    1. can scoria or perlite earth bags stand up to an earth-berm, or do we need the more solid earth-filled bags?
    2. insulation vs. heat sink… does scoria or perlite provide the thermal mass advantages, or is it a trade-off between insulation & thermal mass heat storage?

    Thanks for your great site!

    • Excellent plan. I strongly encourage this type of construction. Be sure to read and watch the videos about the Scoria Casita: http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/earthbag-scoria-casita/

      This guy has it all figured out and shows all the details in his videos. Bags of loose fill material are prone to shifting, so follow his process closely. The key is to build a simple, naturally self supporting shape such as a roundhouse, horseshoe/earthship shape with lots of south facing windows. Do not attempt a large home. Always start small so you can learn and refine your skills. Start with a shed, garage or small cabin.

      Berming: My standard advice is most people only need 1-2′ to help prevent freezing of the foundation.

      Adding earth floors, compressed earth block floors or bricks laid on sand, earth plaster plus stone around a wood stove will create plenty of internal mass. You could very well create a zero energy home. Search for this term to learn more.

      Feel free to email me if you have questions. I encourage you to document everything and share with others.

  3. Hi.

    I would like to buy the book “25 Small, Sustainable House Plans, by Owen Geiger” through credit card. Unfortunately it’s not working.

    Best regards,

  4. Thanks much,

    You answered my question even though I did not phrase it correctly. I know the design is subjective, I wanted to know above or below ground and you answered. I will be buying your book etc.


  5. Hello Owen,
    Which do you suggest for a small “1000 sq ft”earthbag home for Mabinay Philippines, either underground or above?

    Thanks much, I want to build something for my lady and her family for when I am no longer on this earth, I am now 70 yrs.


    • Build above ground in the tropics or any climate with high rainfall.

      The ‘best’ design is highly subjective. I suggest working with your partner to determine the final design.

    • No, but you can easily have it printed at Kinko’s etc. Use heavy weight paper on the cover and the final result looks nearly identical to a regular book.

  6. the first. #1. i am really interested in this plan. however i do not currently want to spend 300 for the plans as we are looking at multiple options. we need to narrow it down first. do you have any photos from anyone that has currently built this project?

  7. hello, owen i am currently looking into a plan you have called the round house dome cluster. i like the one which is just the buildings that are straight up not the domes. my question is i do not see how tall the walls are for the second story lofts i would like to know this. i am thinking about above the second bedroom rather than having a loft making that space into a third bedroom accessible from the loft space above the 24 ft building loft. would this be feasible? also would it be possible to have central heating and cooling in this structure as we live in houston tx.

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