Building Structures with Local Natural Materials

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Building Structures with Local Natural Materials

If you are seeking to build your next home or vacation retreat, it may be worth your time to take a look at what Earthen Shelter is doing in the art of “natural building”. Employing the practice and art of building structures with local and naturally sourced materials, natural building practices integrate and build within the existing environments and local communities with a minimal amount of adverse effect – if any – on the environment. In fact, if anything, their goal – so to speak – is to build homes and structures that flow with the land in which they’re built.

For instance, if one lives in the desert southwest where most of the days of the year are filled hot sunny days and cool nights being a thing to be savored, then an adobe style earthen home with thick walls would probably be your best bet. In particular, if the lay of the property allows for it, if one is able to build against or actually into an existing hillside. Where the earth itself acts as a natural insulator of sorts from the elements – keeping you cooler in the summer and warmer during the colder months by retaining the coolness of the evening or the warmth from the sun. Of course we’re not suggesting that you go completely “primitive” in this respect – as there are numerous options available to the prospective home builder looking to leave a minimal carbon footprint when building their next home.

The most commonly used natural materials used include a combination of any or all of the following: clay soils, various sands, sand and flag stone as well as a variety of different fibers to include straw, bamboo, locally sourced wood as well as the ever popular hemp. Earthen shelters seeks to blend a number of of building practices and traditions from around the world and integrate them with those of modern day when building their homes. A few of the techniques used are cob, light straw clay, adobe, earthbag, and strawbale – using them to build houses, wood fired earthen ovens, earthen plasters and wall finishes, and earthen floors.  Truly, one seeking to build and earthen structure is only limited by their imagination as the environment has long since provided just about every resource we need in order to lead a self-sustainable lifestyle.

Check out the gallery of photos below (all images on our site are expandable, even the featured image at the top).

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