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Alternative Construction


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Table of Contents

Part I. DESIGN PRINCIPLES 1. Introduction The Natural Building Movement 3 Lynne Elizabeth The Realities of Specifying Environmental Building Materials 9 Cassandra Adams 2. A New Context for Building Codes and Regulation 19 David Eisenberg 3. Natural Conditioning of Buildings 37 Ken Haggard, Polly Cooper, and Jennifer Rennick with assistance from Phil Niles 4. Structural Properties of Alternative Building Materials 71 Bruce King, P.E. PART II. SYSTEMS AND MATERIALS 5. Adobe 87 Michael Moquin 6. Cob 117 Michael Smith 7. Rammed Earth 151 David Easton 8. Modular Contained Earth Earthbag 175 Joseph Kennedy and Paulina Wojciechowska with special acknowledgment of the work of Nader Khalili Earth-RammedTires 190 Michael Reynolds 9. Light Clay 195 Robert Laporte and Frank Andresen with special acknowledgment of the work of Franz Volhard 10. Straw-Bale 209 Kelly Lerner, Bob Theis, and Dan Smith 11. Bamboo 235 Darrel DeBoer and Karl Bareis 12. Earthen Finishes Earth Plasters 255 Carole Crews Earth Floors 264 Bill and Athena Steen Part III. APPLICATIONS 13. Integrated Systems with Rammed Earth Charles Sturt University, Thurgoona Campus, New South Wales, Australia 273 Marci Webster-Mannison 14. Straw, Clay, and Carrizo Obregon Project, Northern Mexico 283 Bill and Athena Steen 15. Light-Clay House Additions School/Residence in Wisconsin 297 Lou Host-Jablonski, AIA 16. Variations on Earthbag The HoneyHouse-Moab, Utah 309 Kaki Hunter and Doni Kiffmeyer Residences in Arizona and Wisconsin 313 Dominic Howes Sandbag House, RumCay Island, Bahamas 315 Steve Kemble and Carol Escott 17. The Value of Indigenous Ways Habitat for Humanity International 323 C. Wayne Nelson 18. Building Technology Transfer Raising Straw-BaleHousing for Farmworkers in California 333 Kelly Lerner, Dan Smith, and Bob Theis Introduction of Straw-Bale Construction to Mongolia and China 339 Kelly Lerner Epilogue Finding the Soul of Natural Building 357 Tom Bender Appendix A Recommended References 365 Appendix B Alternative Construction Resource Centers 375 ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS 381 INDEX 387

About the Author

LYNNE ELIZABETH is a consultant and author on sustainable community development and ecological design. She currently directs New Village Press, a publishing project of ADPSR, and resides in Temescal Commons, a solar-powered cohousing community in Oakland, California. CASSANDRA ADAMS is an architect and consultant in construction management and ecological design. She has taught architecture, construction, and environmental courses at the University of Washington and the University of California-Berkeley.


"provides a useful insight into the various natural materials and building methods that are used in Europe and the States." (UK Landlord, March 2007)

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