When most people hear of natural building they disregard it, and they assume that the way we have been building for years is obviously the best because we have been doing it for so long, but they are wrong. Natural Building is not only efficient but also good for the world. The building structures of most homes are foolish, and “buildings account for one quarter of the world’s wood harvest” (Kennedy et al., 2002). The idea of working with nature on a basic level when building houses instead of working against it is something more people should understand and employ.
Cord wood is a method of building that was always slightly mysterious to me, I learned from this book that in order for the wood to rot it must stay wet for a long period of time, but since cordwood “breathes along end grains” the wall dries very quickly and the fungi that it needs to make the wood rot does not have a healthy living environment (Kennedy, Wanek, Smith, 2002). Cordwood is a method of building that I will use because it is attractive and efficient.
Certain methods when building will help a house in multiple ways; an example of this is when you want “to keep a house warm in the winter locate it halfway up a south facing slope so that frost and cold air are blocked, and free energy can fill the dwelling” (Kennedy et al., 2002). This idea ties in with the earthship design I am creating, and it uses the position in more ways than I had anticipated. I think that it is very beneficial and wise to make sure “every function is met by multiple elements” (Kennedy et al., 2002).
Another idea that I have adopted is organizing floor plans around activities; and I think this will be a great help when creating my floor plan later on. The basic idea is simple, but it makes a lot of sense when designing and building a house. For instance I have put the art room in my house on the far end because it will be quieter and peaceful; I chose this because the living room, master bedroom, and kitchen will be on the other end of the house, and this will keep my art room separate and secluded.
These techniques are beneficial to anyone who is planning on constructing a house or any other building because they help the home owner have a more efficient home, and they are useful of energy instead of wasteful. It is important to look at many different techniques when building your own house, but I encourage you to look into natural building for the sake of your own comfort, but also for the sake of the earth.
Kennedy, J., Wanek, C., & Smith, M. (2002). The art of natural building. Gabriola Island: BC, Canada: New Society Publishers.