Building with natural materials both organic and healthy - for you and the world.

What is Natural Building?

Natural building refers to using the material from the land the dwelling is to be built on. I am talking the dirt under your feet for walls, the stone that can be used for foundation or gravel, the trees for timber log and timber frames and even the clay that can be used for plaster. So many materials gets discarded today, or just not considered, as we've moved to a primarily concrete-based building style. If you ask me, that's a damn shame.

So many impressive buildings have been built with natural materials. The most common of which are Timberframed- and Logframed houses, which are still common in America, Canada and other places with great old forests.

Other types of Natural Building include Cob, Strawbale, Hemp and Earthbags. These types of homes are based on a mixture of dirt and clay, with Earthbag being Rammed Earth - meaning its bags stuffed with earth and joined with chicken wire. The only "special" one is Hempcrete, as it is essentially concrete made with Hemp, a natural plant that makes the bricks water, rot and fire resistent. It is considered special as its not legal everywhere due to bans on the Hemp plant, despite its massive possibilities for uses.

Broadly speaking, Natural Buildings are an excellent choice for the materials in a dwelling, as they are abundant and require no processing. Beyond this, there are additional reasons to build with Natural Materials:

Reasons to build with Natural Materials:

  • They are incredibly cheap.
  • They are more ecologically friendly, as they break down into organic material.
  • They last for a very very long time, with Cob houses still standing after 2000 years in Egypt and Iran, and 1000 years in England.
  • They have a very small amount of upkeep, mostly external.
  • They are carbon-negative, as they are found on-site, does not need transport or processing before being used.
  • Most of them, save for Timberframe and Logframe, are excellent at insulating a house due to the heavy thermal mass of the walls.
  • No toxins in the home. With only organic materials used, the air and atmosphere of a Natural house is far cleaner than a concrete one.

There are many more awesome things when it comes to Natural Building, however it also has its downsides. It is hands down the cheapest option for building a dwelling, with the possibility of making a small home with a kitchen, a bedroom and a bath for less than 500$, but it's also the most labor intensive. This has both up- and downsides; longer build time means longer time until you move in. It also means more time to make adjustments, get new ideas, get a feel for the house and solidify your plan.

If Natural Building sounds interesting to you, i urge you to read on. I've divided it into six subcategories so you can read about the method you find most interesting, as you figure out what is the right choice for you and your home.