Art of Natural Building Paperback – 24 Jul 2014
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Joseph F. Kennedy studied earth building with architect Nader Khalili and helped him found CalEarth in 1991. He promotes earth and other natural building methods as a teacher, designer and builder. He is co-editor of The Art of Natural Building and Building Without Borders. Joseph currently teaches at the New School of Architecture and Design in San Diego, California. Michael G. Smith helped found The Cob Cottage Company in 1993. He has taught hundreds of hands-on workshops in cob, strawbale, natural floors and plasters, earthen ovens, and many other natural building techniques. He is the author of The Cobber's Companion and co-author of The Hand-Sculpted House. Michael has designed and built nearly fifty small cob and hybrid natural homes. He enjoys sharing his expertise with owner-builders around the world. Catherine Wanek is a cofounder of Builders Without Borders. A passionate advocate of natural building techniques for over two decades, she is the author and photographer of The Hybrid House and The New Straw Bale Home, and co-editor of The Art of Natural Building. She also produced the videos, The Strawbale Solution, the Building With Straw video series, and Urban Permaculture. Catherine is the owner of the Black Range Lodge, an historic bed-and-breakfast inn located in the mountains of southwest New Mexico, which is becoming known as a center for ecological building and healthy living.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
After so much effort has obviously been put into illustrating this book, I cannot understand why it has been printed in black and white. Virtually every page has excellent photographs and diagrams, but with the exception of a couple of token colour pages, all the photographs are a disappointing monochrome grey. I hope this book will be re-published with full colour illustration, and then someone will give it the five stars that it deserves.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"The Art of Natural Building" questions the environmental responsibility of a 5,000-sq-foot, 500,000-dollar house. As more and more people begin to make the kind of money it takes to buy their own American Dream house, we must question the feasibility our of contemporary building practices. Would it be possible cover the globe with modern homes? Building companies certainly think so, but aside from what a project of this immensity what mean environmentally, the resources are simply not available.
There is simply not enough lumber, brick, cement, and processed material to go around. Our building industry would gladly sell us into oblivion if it meant a buck or two in the short-haul, but we need to get away from this kind of thinking. We also need to consider the environmental impacts of our current practices. What are these impacts?
As this book reminds us, buildings already account for one quarter of the world's wood harvest, two-fifths of its material and energy use, and one-six of its fresh water usage. In the past 100 years the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen 27 percent, one-quarter of which has come the burning of fossil fuels just to provide energy for buildings. During the same period, the world lost more than 20 percent of its forest. Quite simply, our building philosophy is not sustainable; and with a populaiton of 6 billion rising at an incredible rate every year, reconstruction of this philosophy becomes all the more timely and important.
We can start by dropping out of the rat race and getting our hands dirty. Natural building is much more affordable, durable, environmentally responsible and estheticly pleasing than the track homes and skyscrapers advancing on the horizon. We can also avoid the loan-mortgage game which weds us to unfulfilling job and Sisyphus-like existence. We can create spaces that are non-toxic, unique, and ecologically sound. And perhaps most importantly, we can reconnect with Earth and the spirit of artisanship.
Along with the philosophy, you will discover a veritable treasure trove of natural building styles and ideas, from the radically new and innovative - like concept "earthship" - to the ancient and elegant, such as the living roof pictured on the cover. Architects need not apply, nor must you be good with your hands to fashion your own natural house. I consider myself very fortunate to have seen this book before investing in a home of my own. Like many people, I might have ended up working the rest of my life to pay for "a house without a clue."
By far and away, this is one of the most important books I have ever read. Philosophers dabble with theories of justice, beauty and truth, but with this book you will discover how all of these ideas can be BUILT into the very structure and fabric of your life. You will discover the ethics and aesthetics of building design and ecological living.
Filled to the brim with great references, links and some amazing photographs to stimulate your right brain, "The Art of Natural Building" is a must for anybody interested in saving the planet and saving a little money at the same time. The ultimate ecological building encyclopedia! A must read for all dwelling creatures.
There is less world-saving going on than meets the eye. Almost all the bad stuff whether large amounts of timber, or reviled composites is in the roofs, floors, and foundations. When it comes to having wildflowers as part of the roof, they even embrace some pretty nasty membrane products.
There is also a fair amount of self-delusion going on. In the section on timber frames the author mentions the savings to be had by timber framed walls vs. stud walls, but makes no mention of the unsustainable old growth used in timber frames. Nor does he mention that the infill to timber frames is either the same studwalls he claimed to avoid using, or highly toxic SIPs. in total most timber buildings are built twice once for the frame, and enough infill material to again carry all structural loads. The same comments can be made about straw bale, cordwood and so forth, often as much wood is used avoiding studs as using them.
Natural building is completely unlikely to make an ounce of green difference in the West. It mainly won't be used, and where it is, it will just be another trophy home "look". Still it's all great stuff for dreamers, and the odd few who will actually build their own little earthship.
Because of all the authors contributing, the standard of information is highly inconsistent, but in the main good. Do we really need to read after 200 pages a section on timber framing that starts from theoretical constructs like what is architecture and engineering, and works on to maters even more obscure? Nonetheless, there is solid information throughout the book.