Home is where the heart is, but the rest of the body needs to stay out of the cold. Shelter can range from a burrow in the side of a hill to a palatial estate. We'd suggest something inbetween.
In hard economic times, shared housing, in one form or another, offers perhaps the most sensible and easiest to accomplish form of cutting costs. Building homes of natural, at-hand materials is another, but obviously involves much more work and considerable skill. We cover a variety of ideas, and invite you to send us more.
We suggestion that you also visit our Community and Neighborhoods pages.
Design & More
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
Architect Christopher Alexander's almost legendary opus on the elements that make a building or an entire town truly human. [book]
Alexander's website Pattern Language is also highly recommended. You'll find lots of information and resources.
Contemporary natural building methods [book]
House to Ourselves, The
Reinventing home once the kids are grown. Excellent resource for baby boomers and other empty-nesters, including those who want to live with friends in homes especially designed for groups. [book]
Sustainable architecture and design [book]
Natural Home and Garden Magazine
Living green, living well
Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green House
Greening begins at home. How to renovate your home to make it more environmentally-friendly. From simple to large-scale remedies [book]
New Ecological Home, The
A complete guide to green building options [book]
New Natural House Book, The
Creating a healthy, harmonious and ecologically sound home [book]
Extensive information on prefabricated homes, with a large list of manufacturers and their products
Long-time manufacturers of ready-to-set-up yurts.
Real Goods - Products For An Ecologically Sustainable Future
The granddaddy of solar sites and other natural, sustainable forms of energy and construction.
Tires + dirt = housing. Now doesn't that seem like a good way to recycle the millions of junked tires scattered around the country?
The Earthship is a completely independent globally oriented dwelling unit made from materials that are indigenous to the entire planet. The major structural building component of the Earthship is recycled automobile tires filled with compacted earth to form a rammed earth brick encased in steel belted rubber. This brick and the resulting bearing walls it forms is virtually indestructible.
They're just dirt houses. How can they hold up? Well, actually, homes made of rammed earth hold up fine, and have for centuries. New techniques of construction make them even more solid and easier to work with, and they provide year-round insulation, quiet and comfort. Plus, they just feel good.
Rammed Earth Works
Pioneering California company that also invented the PISÉ (Pneumatically Impacted Stabilized Earth) process
Private company in Arizona
Rammed Earth House, The
Excellent book by rammed earth pioneer David Easton [book]
"But can't wolves blow down houses made of straw? I seem to remember a story about that." Not these. They're solid. And easy to shape into the type of structure you want. A great way to recycle straw.
Beauty of Straw Bale Homes, The
As the title says. Not a manual, but great pictures. [book]
Building with Awareness
DVD on how to build homes with straw bale, adobe, and other natural materials
New Straw Bale Home, The
Good coffee table book that will leave you wanting to build your own [book]
Serious Straw Bale
A Home Construction guide for all climates [book]
Information on many different natural building techniques
Good information and resources including DVDs