Building a Sawdust Concrete Home

Building a sawdust concrete home. An article reprinted from Popular Mechanics, and an update on how that house has held up, thirty years later.

| January/February 1978

  • Learn about building a sawdust concrete home.
    Learn about building a sawdust concrete home.
    Photo By Fotolia/Lev

  • Learn about building a sawdust concrete home.

An article about building a sawdust concrete home and and how that house has held up, thirty years later.

Building a Sawdust Concrete Home

Thirty years ago — just after World War II, when so many exciting human-scale things were still being done in so many fields — a fellow out in Idaho built a house of sawdust and concrete. And Popular Mechanics, among other publications, reported on the construction of that house. Good for Popular Mechanics.

The only trouble is . . . we've been waiting ever since for a follow-up report that would tell us how well this unusual building has stood the test of time. And — since it doesn't seem that anyone else is interested in doing that follow-up — MOTHER has tackled the project.

Here, then, is the original Popular Mechanics story from 30 years ago . . . and MOTHER's update on Wait Friberg's sawdust/concrete home, as it looks and performs today.

Reprinted by permission from Popular Mechanics, copyright© 1948 by H.H. Windsor.

Anyone experiencing a revival of the old desire to use sawdust and shavings in place of sand and gravel to get a lighter and cheaper concrete should get acquainted with the tiny diatom — nature's wonder plant — and how Walt Friberg used it to cut costs in his new home at Moscow, Idaho.
5/28/2018 12:19:46 AM

I used the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own home – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha. Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

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