Eighteen Design Principles for Natural Building

These design principles for natural builders will make the most of a home's livable space.

| February 2016

Arched roof

The varying ceiling height under the arched roof on the second story of Hilda Dawe’s cob cottage lends itself to different kinds of usage in different areas. Against the wall, the ceiling is too low for standing, but a desk makes perfect use of the skylight above.

Photo by Catherine Wanek

The Art of Natural Building (New Society Publishers, 2015), edited by Joseph F. Kennedy, Michael G. Smith, and Catherine Wanek, is a collection from over 50 leading voices in the field of natural building that describes dozens of eco-friendly building techniques, from straw bale and cob, to hemp and salvaged materials. The following excerpt is from Chapter 11, “Eighteen Design Principles to Make Square Feet Work Harder.”

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Art of Natural Building.

Before you begin designing your home, do this four-part exercise in self-knowledge:

1. Study your lifestyle very carefully.

2. Think as freely as possible about the qualities of the spaces and places you have most loved and hated.

3. Fight to minimize your clutter and accumulations.

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2/21/2016 6:05:08 AM

it's a very good plan.

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