Tag Archives: natural building

Michaela is Here! The Reclamation Administration is proud to welcome aboard Michaela

We are super excited to have Michaela interning at the RA!

Here at the RA we have a strong ethic of volunteerism, and we are happy that others do too.   Our internships are educational experiences tailored to the interests and goals of our participants, and of course our readers!  We are always thrilled when people step up to participate.

This spring we are super excited to have Michaela join us in creating new content by writing articles and updating resources.

Michaela is a student at Metropolia University in Helsinki, Finland studying sustainable building engineering. Her interest in innovative building was sparked with an initial project in the Mojave Desert at Aquarius Ranch on a super adobe dome underneath UFOs and starry skies.

She stumbled into the natural building world through working on organic farms and continued on with projects utilizing cob, light-clay straw, adobe, and infinite recycled materials. After working at cafes and arts non-profits to support her wanderlust, she chose to return to the Nordic region to get back to her building passion.

She currently is on work placement with Whole Trees Architecture in her native Wisconsin with one of her architectural heroes, Roald Gundersen. In the future she hopes to creatively develop accessible hybridized building techniques. She believes natural materials, inspiring integrated design, cradle-to-cradle material reuse, and updated vernacular architecture are the future for a sustainable built environment.

When she’s not brainstorming building compositions and calculating structural integrity you’ll find her biking aimlessly, foraging in the forests, enjoying beers at a sauna evening and flipping around with her acrobatics group.

Look for articles by Michaela over the next few months!

Tiny Forest Home Made of Reclaimed Materials

This is a phenomenal article.


Jeffery, a homebuilder specializing in using only natural materials for his construction projects, recently completed a tiny house in the woods. His main goals were to construct a house that was comfortable to live in and cheap to built, and made from materials destined for the landfill as much as possible. The cabin he built contains a bed, desk and a small wood stove. It is intended to serve mainly as a shelter, and therefore encourage the occupant to go out and enjoy nature.


via Tiny Forest Home Made of Reclaimed Materials.

8 Rustic Wood-Clad Vent Hoods: Remodelista

Check out all 8 on Remodelista.

Ken LIndsteadt Kitchen Wood Vent Remodelista

Architect Ken Lindsteadt added a reclaimed wood trim to a vent hood in this Northern California house.

Wood Vent Hood Globe Lights Remodelista

In this kitchen, the homeowners used leftover reclaimed oak from the kitchen floor to face the metal hood insert; via Better Homes & Gardens.

Ken Linsteadt Wood Kitchen Hood Remodelista

 In another project by Ken Linsteadt, the architect faced a range hood in reclaimed wood.

via 8 Rustic Wood-Clad Vent Hoods: Remodelista.

Cob Building Basics: DIY House of Earth and Straw – Green Homes – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Cob and reclaimed building materials go hand in hand.

This is a great article in Mother Earth News in which they mention using reclaimed concrete (Urbinite) as a perfect material for cob building foundations.

Cob house in California

Photo By Chris McClellan

Today, building your own house is the exception to the norm, and it is almost unheard of to build with local materials. Instead, houses are built by specialists using expensive tools and expensive, highly refined materials extracted and transported long distances, often at great ecological cost. Industrial materials have many benefits — performance, predictability, speed and ease of installation — but they have in common that they must create a profit for the companies that manufacture them. The average number of members in U.S. households has dropped by more than half in the past 50 years. Yet, over the same time period, average home sizes have more than doubled. We are more comfortably housed than at any point in history, but practically enslaved by the payments (the word “mortgage” is French for “death contract”). Fortunately, we have other choices.

Creative details are sculpted into the cob façade of a home during environmentally friendly remodels.

via Cob Building Basics: DIY House of Earth and Straw – Green Homes – MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Beautiful Hobbit Home to be Demolished for Being “Harmful to Rural Countryside” | Inhabitat

Inhabitat has a great feature on this wonderful eco-house in trouble. Don’t miss it, or the opportunity to sign the petition to save it.

green roof, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, natural building, eco-home, Charlie's Hobbit House, Pembrokeshire County Council to Demolish Hobbit House, Petition to Save Charlie's Hobbit Home, straw bale construction, hobbit home, natural building, natural materials, sustainable building, sustainable materials,

The Pembrokeshire County Council has given Charlie Hague and his partner Megan two months to demolish their beautiful hobbit home, which has a green roof and lime-plastered straw bale walls. Charlie built the home on his father’s property over a period of one year using techniques learned from the nearby Lammas eco-village in West Wales. Prior to that, before Megan fell pregnant, they were living in a caravan. Certain that the planning council would not give them permission to build the home, Charlie went ahead anyway, but applied retroactively for permits. These were denied because “the benefits of a low-impact development do not outweigh the harm to the character and appearance of the countryside having regard to the provisions of the development plan,” ruled the inspector.

via Beautiful Hobbit Home to be Demolished for Being “Harmful to Rural Countryside” | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

This little piggy built his green – Whidbey News Times

A straw bale community center with a tower stands near Langley. - Contributed photo

A straw bale community center with a tower stands near Langley.

It reminds me of the children’s story of the Three Little Pigs. One built a house out of bricks, one built a home out of sticks and one built a house out of straw. If you delve into techniques for green building you find lots of different options, just like they did. But you wonder if the Big Bad Wolf will be able to huff and puff and blow your house down!

A Green Building Seminar is set at Oak Harbor City Hall Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 5:30 p.m. Find out about the latest green building techniques and materials from Dan Neumeyer of Jade Craftsman Builders.

Building with cement, steel and board lumber has a tremendous cost to the planet. Cement, for instance, takes a tremendous amount of energy and pollutes air and water. In some cases, materials are shipped around the world, burning fossil fuels and producing carbon emissions.

In recent years, natural building materials have re-emerged as a local, renewable, inexpensive and sustainable option. Most of what is called “natural building” are techniques that have been used worldwide for centuries. Many of these materials are also energy efficient. And natural materials also make a healthier home.

Continue reading This little piggy built his green – Whidbey News Times