Founder and director of the Geiger Research Institute of Sustainable Building, Owen Geiger has two engineering degrees and a Ph.D. in Social and Economic Development. His lifelong goal (and subject of his dissertation) is to alleviate substandard housing by using natural building materials and sustainable building methods.
Owen is an engineer and author of dozens of articles on affordable, sustainable building. He is the former director of Builders Without Borders. He co-authored the Builders Without Borders Straw-Bale Construction Guides and contributed to Building Without Borders: Sustainable Construction for the Global Village. Owen worked closely with Habitat for Humanity for seven years in Colorado, and created three online straw bale construction training and certification courses.
Owen’s 30-plus years of construction experience includes hands-on building, designing and inspecting homes, training hundreds of workshop participants, and managing housing projects as a licensed contractor.
In response to the December 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, Owen worked with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on disaster-resistant earthbag and bamboo building systems, resulting in two finished designs. The final report and drawings for the Post-Tsunami Affordable Housing Project are available at www.grisb.org/publications/index.htm.
He currently teaches, writes for The Last Straw journal and MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, works as a consultant on international housing projects, and develops online content for GRISB.org, EarthbagBuilding.com and Earthbag Building Blog.
Owen’s latest work involves designing and building affordable housing prototypes. His Earthbag House Plans features 100 affordable earthbag house designs, many of which could also be built with straw bales, adobe and other natural building materials.