5 Things You Can Repurpose Into Homestead 'Mojo'

Repurposing building materials is at the heart of sustainability and mojo is what you build with. I’ve tried many ideas at my homestead and here’s the tips I’ve found are the most affordable, brings that homestead mojo to work for you, and instead of filling up the landfill you’re helping save the planet.

3 Fertilizer Teas for Plants

If you are trying to stay away from chemical fertilizers, stack the functions of the plants and animals on your property and save money then these simple fertilizer teas are just for you. There are many different kinds of fertilizer “teas” and we will be covering three of them in this blog. We will talk about comfrey, rabbit manure and vermicompost tea!

Transforming Precambrian-Shield Soil into Rich Garden Loam

Being above the 56th parallel, we are in Zone 0, the harshest zone per Ag Canada. We're faced with a short, fickle growing season where frost can occur at any time during the summer months. We were faced with the daunting task of improving the poor boreal forest soil. Here is how we transformed the shallow, poor soils of the Precambrian Shield of our wilderness homestead into a rich garden loam.

Light Straw-Clay Building Coming of Age in North America

This past year has been a hallmark year for the advancement of Light Straw-Clay building. The publication of our new book The EcoNest Home and the latest edition of Franz Volhard’s book Light Earth Building translated into English, and the inclusion of Light Straw-Clay Building in the International Residential Code has made this beautiful form of construction accessible to more people than ever before in modern times.

The ABCs of Homesteading: E is for 'Edible Landscaping'

This is the third blog post in an alphabetically organized introduction to homesteading. It covers ideas for starting an edible landscape on your homestead including: soil improvement, cover crops, perennials, attracting beneficial insects, and home-based food production.

Working with Nature to Build Organic Soil, Part 5: Sustainable Grazing

Ruminants have been maligned for causing desertification and worsening climate change, but when we emulate the way nature designed herds to graze, the result is a rapid improvement in soil, forage and animal health. Our planet's health is also improved because rotational and mob-grazing takes atmospheric carbon and stores it as organic topsoil.

Oregon Company Salvages Urban Timber

After seeing beautiful trees in Oregon going to waste, Seth Filippo realized the Pacific Northwest had a huge underutilized resource in urban wood.

How to Build A Vegetable Bed Biodynamically, Part 2

Building raised vegetable garden beds has many benefits: They negate contending with poor soil, you can make them tall to avoid bending, avoid soil compaction and they look appealing to name a few. But how can you make them biodynamic? This post will tell you how.

DIY Outdoor Patios: What You Need to Know

Why pay for someone to come and install an outdoor patio when you could do it yourself? Outdoor patios are perfect for people who love to entertain. They don’t require a lot of maintenance and they can be completed within a single weekend. This post covers sizing, siting, and building materials.

Homesteading With Code Requirements

When we built our current home in 1992, there were very few rules and codes that could damage or destroy our dream of doing most of the work in building our cabin ourselves. Times like that are rapidly disappearing and those who build now must endure permits, inspections, delays and forced compliance. The dream of building your own home could be more complicated than just knowing construction techniques nowadays. Read our story.

The Importance of Community for Homesteaders

Homesteading is built upon a foundation of self sufficiency, but community is just as important. There is so much more to homesteading than the individual pleasure associated with it. There is true joy and friendship in the shared labor of land.

How To Build a Vegetable Bed Biodynamically, Part 1

Biodynamic growing can be thought of as the next step up from organic growing, as many of the principles of organic growing are followed in biodynamics. The biggest difference in biodynamics is that everything starts with the soil and the alignment of the sun and the moon in the cosmos for planting, harvesting and tending to types of plants. For those of you who are not familiar with biodynamics, let me set the scene for you here.

Net-Zero Energy Homes for the Masses

If you were to rank sustainable homes primarily based on their energy efficiency, Zero Net Energy homes would rank extremely high. They’re pretty cool — and complicated. Top U.S. home builder PulteGroup moves into the eco-friendly homes market by providing Zero Net Energy homes to the masses.

Composting FAQs Answered

There are many types of composting methods available for the urban homesteader — from fermentation bins called Bokashi systems that allow you to compost cooked foods, fish, dairy and meat, to vermicomposting, or worm composting systems, and everything in between. Learn the types of composting systems, along with what is compostable, the best compost material ratios for your situation, and troubleshooting tips for common compost problems.

Solar Backyard Chicken-Coop Building Plans

A community of smaller portable chicken coops are better than one, big, stationary one. Download building plans for a solar heated design that’s also great in hot climates.

The Growing Economy of Salvaged Urban Wood

Megan Offner of New York Heartwoods is salvaging downed and damaged city trees to redirect material from our waste stream, decrease greenhouse emissions, and fuel the demand for local wood products.

Working with Nature to Build Organic Soil, Part 3: Compost

You can turn kitchen and farm "wastes" into compost, which is full of microbes and nutrition for your crops. In return, you will be able to grow disease-resistant plants that produce highly nutritious food with fantastic flavors.

Cordwood Chicken Coops

Cordwood chicken coops are the ideal method of protecting your birds and providing warmth and security. Enjoy these pictures of unique cordwood chicken coops throughout North America.

6 Things More Difficult than Building Yourself a Green Home

People think building is difficult. It’s not. And in the hope of encouraging a few more wannabe natural builders, I’ve compiled the following list. Because in my experience, there are far harder things in life than building a house.

Feed the Soil First

What we know about the community of life in a healthy soil is that it is wildly diverse with a broad range of species. With so many members in the community, there is an answer for every problem. Every pest has a mortal foe waiting to attack it. There might be some occasional pest damage but very rarely a complete takeover by a particular pest or disease.

Working With Nature to Build Organic Soil

Understanding a bit of the chemistry and biology behind building healthy soil allows us to work in harmony with nature to contribute to the health of our soil, plants, food and planet.

Solemn Confession of a Rookie Off-Grid Homesteader

When we started our off grid homesteading adventure, we had all sorts of elaborate plans as to what we would accomplish our first year. Six months into our journey, it seems that we underestimated our workload, by a long shot!

Book Review: My House of Earth

This new book by veteran natural builder Conrad Rogue of House Alive natural builders is a treasure of technique and philosophy.

Hugelkultur on Rented Land

Hugelkultur is the building of raised beds by burying wood and other organic material. Just because you are renting doesn’t mean you can’t implement one this season.

Building a Cabin with a Portable Sawmill

By sawing his own lumber from fallen trees, Billy Reeder not only built his cabin debt-free on family land, he also built a new life — a deliberate life. A good life.

10 Reasons to Build an Earthbag House

My earthbag home has liberated me from a mortgage. The technique has numerous benefits. Here’s my list of why anyone might want to think about an earthbag home.

How to Bake Using an Earth Oven

Instructions on how to bake the best wood-fired pizza you will ever eat, right in your own backyard using an earth oven made from cob.

Technological Challenges of Off-Grid Homestead Living, Part 3: Water

This is part three in a series of articles on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.

Things Get Easier One Step at a Time

Dream big, build a small house or make home improvements, and enjoy the benefit of every task when you tap into your Zen of Building.

5 Affordable Interior-Design Ideas that Incorporate Salvaged Materials

Using new design ideas in your home will help you create an aesthetic that is all your own, but you don’t have to go out and dump your bank account into new items. You can make some great updates to your home using recycled or salvaged pieces for very cheap. This article explores five design ideas anyone can do for a dime by incorporating recycled materials that will make your home look amazing.

Step-By-Step Construction for Owner-Built Small Homes

Estimating the work load and minimizing re-work is the key to happy owner-builders of small homes. The basic steps are similar wither you build a straw-bale, stick-frame, or masonry structure, all must be completed within the relatively short building season.

Why Tiny Homes Are Inherently Green (With Lilypad Tiny Home Tour)

Tiny homes are becoming more and more popular throughout the United States. This article explains why tiny homes are inherently green and offers an example of Anita’s 248-square-foot Lilypad Tiny Home, decked out with green appliances and sustainable materials.

Livable Space Design for Tiny Homes

Designing a tiny home can seem like a Rubik’s cube challenge—finding ways to shift things around when needed and out-of-the-way when done. Find out how to integrate inside/outside rooms, single/multiple rooms, and built-ins and fold-outs into your tiny house design; plus learn about the “14 Basic Requirements of a Livable Home.”

Guide to Green-Roof Options for Your Home

Are you ready to make your home or living space greener? Now is the time to get started; look up and think about how you could give back to nature, starting with your roof.

Tiny Homes, Bigger Lives

Steve Maxwell explains why living the bootstrap lifestyle and living with less leaves you with more in the end.

How to Get a Building Permit to Build a New Home

The steps involved in receiving a building permit require some advance planning and paperwork. If you’re hoping to build in the future you’ll want to review the building permit requirements in your area several months before your planned construction start date.

Green Building Materials, Part 1: Shopping at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Not all green building materials are fancy, engineered products. One couple explores the saved-from-the-landfill options at local Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Hard to beat preventing waste, supporting Habitat for Humanity’s mission, and finding great deals on materials for a new-home construction in one fell swoop.

How to Build a Green Construction Site

A single bulldozer engine can emit as much particulate matter as more than 500 cars. Learn how the construction industry can get green with these tips.

Neighbors Work Together on the Suburban Frontier

Greening our homes, neighborhoods and communities depends on friends and neighbors working together. This blog will show and tell several examples of friends and neighbors greening the neighborhood.

Just How Green is Green Building Anyway?

Some businesses toss around the word "green" to be hip and fit, but the question is just how green are their products and buildings anyways? Let's take a closer look.

The Earth Shelter

The "Earth Shelter" at The Farm Community in Tennessee combines the geothermal properties of the earth with solar design to produce a very energy efficient home.

Buying, Selling and Marketing Green Homes: The New MLS for a New Generation of Sustainable Building

Marketing green homes has been limited to few websites with outdated listings that cost the seller or agent an arm and a leg to list. As a homeowner who had invested a lot of money in a green remodel of my own, I was perplexed as to how I was going to show off all the features of my home in a normal MLS listing. With years of research and development, I created a very innovative way to buy, sell, and market sustainable homes.

How to Build a Low-Cost DIY Yurt from Sticks, String and Mud

This variation on the (endlessly adaptable) traditional Mongolian yurt design was inspired by the work of master yurt builder, educator, and homesteader Bill Coperthwaite (who was also a neighbor and friend of the Nearings). This low-cost yurt design combines basketry, wattle and daub, and basic lashing (similar to skin-on-frame boats). Not much more than a glorified tent, this DIY yurt made from sticks, string and mud makes a very comfortable, durable and beautiful tiny house, studio, or meditation space.

A Tale of Two Green Homes

There are multiple philosophies that describe what characterizes a green home, but all have low energy loads in common.

New Garden in the High Desert

Moving to a different climate and gardening zone can be a challenge, especially in the high desert. The best approach is to start small and add plenty of organic material.

Building Biology: Creating a Healthy Indoor Climate

There is an ideal relative humidity range for our health and that is somewhere between 35% and 55%. In modern life we have introduced many new sources of moisture into our homes. Daily showers, laundry, cooking and dishwashing tend to create concentrated bursts of humidity. Because conventional construction can tolerate very little increase in humidity without condensation/mold problems moisture from these sources must be mechanically sucked out of the home.

DIY Photovoltaic Power

Doug and Jennie Ostgaard designed and built a photovoltaic system for their home, a project they was completed in six months. DIY photovoltaic solar has many benefits, and they outline a few of them here.

Going, Going, Gone...Off-Grid

How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.

The Recycled Log Cabin

I love my two-story log cabin, which combines recycled and an array of green building materials.

Buildings that Pass the Test of Time

Building Biology advises us to look for a successful history of use when choosing building materials but in our ever changing product-based building environment we seldom have the luxury of evaluating track record. This becomes quickly apparent when vetting new products for client’s homes. I recently called a major manufacturer to find out what was in a new product developed to prevent mold growth on framing lumber.

How to Sell a Cordwood Home

The best time for selling your cordwood home. Tips, websites, suggestions, and what to do BEFORE you build.

Retrofitting a Home With Straw Bale Construction, Part 2

Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, beginning with rewiring a home, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.

Retrofitting a Home With Straw Bale Construction, Part 1

Though he didn’t know exactly how, Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.

Practical Passive Solar Examples

Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.

Build Structures Cheaply Using This Ancient Method

Houses take a lifetime to pay off these days, and even a prosaic shed, barn or coop requires a heavy investment of money, time, skilled labour and imported materials. For thousands of years, though, people around the world used an ancient technique to build homes and other structures quickly, using nothing but local material and simple, easily learned skills.

Cordwood Construction Basics

The fundamental building blocks, descriptions, diagrams and pictures of best practices cordwood buildings.

Cordwood Home Construction Best Practices

Glimpse a view into the world of cordwood construction. This old-fashioned, natural building technique can inspire you to build an energy-efficient, mortgage-free house of your own.

The One-Day Cob House

This May 2014, Be the Change Project is attempting to build a cob house in one day with 50 people.

Masonry Heat: A Formula for Health, Comfort and Ecology

Although forced air is the most common form of home heat in North America it is far from ideal. This article explains why Building Biology regards the masonry heater as the ultimate heating system for health, comfort and ecology.

Tips for Finding a Healthy Building Site

If you are planning to build a healthy home your first step is to find a site that will support health and here are some helpful tips about siting

First Experiments In Natural Building

Eric, Michael and Loren decided to build a winter shelter from natural and re-used materials two winters ago, their first ever natural building experiment. This is an account of that experience that changed their lives in mysterious and unforeseen ways (for the better!).

Naturally Cool Cob Playhouse

If you're searching for kids' playhouse plans, look no further — this whimsical cob building provides an inexpensive child's oasis with a natural cooling system.

How NOT to Build Your Own House

Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.

Framing Double 2-by-4 Walls

I decided to build double 2-by-4 walls to achieve 14-inch thick super-insulated walls. This is just one way of achieving the high R-values for net zero energy homes.

Simple and Green Building

To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.

My Journey Home From Chemical Sensitivities

An introduction to Paula Baker-Laporte's future readers : about Paula, multiple chemical sensitivities, Building Biology and the role of green building in health.

Spontaneous Bender Build

The full team from thePOOSH.org attended Over the Moon Festival last autumn in the UK and built a beautiful bender as a temporary shelter area and stall.

Campsite Cob Oven Construction

Here is yet another possible building project presented to you which requires no formal training, very little money, and techniques/methods that anyone can use. This blog intends to inspire you to take on a natural building project like this one. Don´t have fear if this is your first time working with these techniques and materials — it often for us also! Swattlesfield Campground is frequented by many kinds of people for various reasons. The owner, Jonathan, wanted to introduce some activity which would draw people together. We had the perfect idea: pizza!  Food, especially food that requires waiting, has a tendency to attract people. And once humans have a good reason to be in the same place, the rest (socialization) has a tendency to just work.

Changing the footprint for Passive Solar Gain

To build a net zero energy home, you'll need to design for passive gain. That requires a shallower footprint to ensure that the low-angled winter sun can enter and heat each room.

Solar Tour Sparks Nationwide Movement

The Solar Energy Tour is coming to communities all over the U.S. the first weekend of October — learn how to attend an event, or create one yourself.

Community Food events

Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.

Bath house project

Experiences building a water-saving bath house out of salvaged logs.

Modular, Prefab, and Compact Green Homes and Structures

A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.

Flywheel Garlic Bearings

Crushing a truck, harvesting garlic, and fixing a broken flywheel shaft key are just a few of the things that got done over the last week at WaldenEffect.org complete with photos of all the juicy stuff.

Building My Net Zero Energy Home: The Back Story

In this blog, my architect James Plagmann and I begin to tell the story of the construction of Dan's new net zero energy homes. Dan begins by laying the ground, defining a few terms and describing his experience in this field.

Solar Panel Back Up Power for Under 1000 Dollars?

Describing how we are trying to provide a low budget solar panel back up system for under 1000 dollars that will run our laptops and router along with a few other things if the local power grid has any issues.

Eating Cicadas and Building a Porch

Eating cicadas, building a porch, and hauling lumber for said porch all in the same week with several images of the action as well as some bee installation pictures.

New Chicken Webcam Goes Live

Announcing our new webcam that will be showing the latest flock of new born chicks in all their cute and feathery glory.

Green Homes and Green Building Information: An Index

This index links to some recent and popular posts related to green building, design, remodeling, and home improvement. The posts cover a broad range of topics, from green products to projects to practices, as well as sustainable communities.

DIY Electric Fence Wire Holder

Talking about how to make a DIY electric fence wire holder and how we got a tailgate transplant for around 150 dollars and some signs of spring.

Homesteading Book Deal Gets More Real

Talking about the excitement of Anna's new book cover that we got to preview from the publisher this past week and the anxiety of our new born chicks as they go out into the big world. Also have some details on how to make your own cleft graft.

Composting toilet compromise

The last week of the month has been a busy one with are preparations for the ending of winter and the start of a new growing season. We've got some details on a new cover crop and why we choose and simple composting toilet system compared to others.

Fixing an old barn roof

Finally getting the barn roof repair project started was a big deal for us as well as a few other things that are worth checking out if you are interested in modern homesteading.

How to cut planks with a chainsaw

Our experiments with an Alaskan small log mill attached to our chainsaw had variable results making planks from downed trees.

Composting Humanure

Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.

Living Offgrid Affordably: Before Getting Started

Jeff and wife Kathy have lived off-grid since 2002. They strive to inform the public about ways to live inexpensively, and to further the principle of sustainability. Visit their website to learn more: www.naturalpower.weebly.com

Australia to Texas - The Land

Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.

Australia to Texas - The First Step

Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.

Photo of the Week: Inside a Dome Home

Live in a dome home in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!

In Praise of Deep Energy Retrofits

The work invovlve in tranforming a house that wastes energy into a house that's 50%-95% more energy efficient is called a "deep energy retrofit." We need to find ways to do more of these to save energy, money and the environment.

Inspiration for Solar Projects

Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.  

Green Homes: Online Case Studies and Project Profiles

One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.

Rubble Bag Houses

Concrete rubble from collapsed buildings is a huge problem in Haiti. It is blocking roads and hindering reconstruction. Instead of spending millions of dollars trucking the rubble away and disposing of it, why not use it to build affordable housing?

Disaster Resistant Earthbag Housing

One of the greatest needs in the world is disaster resistant housing – houses that can hold up against hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Properly designed structures can save millions of lives and millions of structures every year.

Key Considerations for Building Affordable Housing

Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.

Reinforced Earthbag Specifications

Precision Engineering www.structure1.com has generously provided drawings and specifications for building earthbag structures in seismic areas to meet code. The documents have been combined into one 6-page PDF and are now available online.

Why is There an Energy Crisis?

A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. The seriousness and scope of our energy problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, starting as soon as possible.

Earth Building in Thailand

I had heard there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me, so I set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand.

Low-fired Brick

Low-fired brick is a very sustainable building material with low embodied energy. They are made with locally procured clay and fired with rice hulls, a by-product of growing rice. Brickyards are located near urban areas to minimize transport costs.

Double Pole Roofs

This article describes an alternative roof design for those building in areas without building codes. A little extra effort working with poles will reward you with a stunningly beautiful wood ceiling and superinsulated roof at very reasonable cost.

Small Diameter Roundwood Trusses

The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.

Earthbag Building: The Next Big Thing?

Earthbag building has just received engineering approval. This is probably the greatest news ever for earthbag building. With engineer-approved plans, we see unlimited potential for earthbag building for homes, shops, schools, you name it.

Insulated Earthbag/Geotextile Basement Walls

The earthbag/geotextile basement wall system described here has excellent potential to save on initial construction costs and long-term energy costs. No concrete is used. The same principles have been used to build retaining walls for decades.

The Case for Using Sustainable Building Materials

Recently, I had an epiphany in a building supply center. Even though I’ve been in the building trades for over 35 years and made countless trips to purchase building supplies, this trip was different.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great place to find inexpensive building supplies and appliances, and you can even donate your leftover supplies when your project is complete. Proceeds from your purchases support Habitat for Humanity and future housing projects.

Emancipate Yourself from the Utility

Three-day workshop announcement on net zero energy homes by leading authority on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Dan Chiras. Learn how to reduce your utility bill through conservation, effriciency, & clean, affordable, renewable energy.

Building SIPsmart: HVAC and Serious Windows

Michael Morley is posting regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here he talks  about HVAC work and installing windows.

Building SIPsmart: Concrete Forms

 Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway. On Tuesday, March 2, the excavator dug trench footings in at the site.

Where Do You Find Used Building Materials?

Recycling building materials from other sources is a great way to cut the cost and reduce the environmental impact of your DIY projects. We want to know where readers go to find reclaimed or used building materials, and how they use these materials in home projects.

Revelation to Action: Community Innovation Contest

Know of a group that's doing great work to support your community or have a community-building idea of your own? If you live in the Northeast United States, Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka's Changemakers are holding the "Revelation to Action" contest to find and help fund the most innovative ideas to bolster communities in the Northeast states. 

Building SIPsmart: Considering Concrete and Solar Hot Water

Michael Morley will post regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here, he discusses options for installing a colored concrete floor, and considering whether to install a solar hot water system.

Building Smart with SIPS

Learn more about this building project, which utilizes SIP technology combined with an unusual geometry.

LEED Continuing Education Credits through the Evergreen Institute

The Evergreen Institute's application to provide continuing education for LEED accredited professionals has been approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. A variety of workshops meeting required standards are now available for those interested in anything from solar electricity to straw bale construction.

Habitat for Humanity Builds in Afghanistan

Today as I was researching Habitat for Humanity, I learned how far its helping hand reaches. Even more interesting to me, though, was that Habitat continues to build in such war-torn counties as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Habitat for Humanity History

Most people have at least heard of Habitat for Humanity. But when I dug a little deeper and sifted through the ol’ letters in the attic of the house (so to speak), I uncovered some interesting details.

A Visit to Greensburg

Earlier this month I visited Greensburg, Kan., and toured a few of its many green buildings. Here's what I found.

The Beauty of Cordwood Building

A cordwood building consists of short, round pieces of wood (think firewood) held together with mortar, and there are many advantages to choosing this type of construction.

An Affordable Green Roof

Using low-cost — but durable — earthbag construction, you can create a beautiful green roof.