Permaculture Around Latin America – Argentina

Posted by & filed under Building, Community Projects, Village Development.

Previously on this series, I featured a video on the Permaculture Institute of El Salvador. Today, we move to the south of this beautiful continent for an exploration of bio-construction in the Argentine Patagonia. Take a look at this meditative video that features images from a bio-construction event that took place in the town of… Read more »

Open Source Beehives

Posted by & filed under Animal Housing, Building, Community Projects, Insects.

We are all too familiar with the Colony Collapse Disorder afflicting our precious bees. So much needs to be done to educate the mass (and beekeepers) about what bees truly need. The Open Source Beehives project is another powerful initiative marrying traditional designs with high tech equipment to promote healthier beekeeping practices. They have designed… Read more »

Solar Water Bottle Bulbs

Posted by & filed under Building, Energy Systems, Waste Systems & Recycling.

Alfredo Moser with his solar water bottle bulbs Introduction Thomas Alva Edison lit up the world with his electric bulb in the nineteenth century. In this century it is the solar bottle bulbs of Alfredo Moser which are illuminating thousands of houses of under-privileged people in many countries. This simple invention of the Brazilian mechanic… Read more »

Natural Building Workshops – Changing Lives

Posted by & filed under Building, Courses/Workshops.

I’m sitting here writing this article surrounded by 35 people, here to build Australia’s first council-approved Earthship in the Adelaide Hills — a home made largely out of recycled car tyres, cans, bottles and dirt. Among these people are travellers, architects, comedians, town planners, university students, artists, musicians, business owners and a handful of builders…. Read more »

High on Permaculture in the Rocky Mountains (video)

Posted by & filed under Building, Demonstration Sites, Land.

Kris Holstrom’s off-grid permaculture farm at 9000 feet high is living proof that food can be grown nearly anywhere. Managing with a very short growing season and water constraints, she and her interns have created magic. Tour the sun-warmed, insulated greenhouse where greens are grown year-round. It’s home to a waterfall and pond with fish,… Read more »

Building with Mud, and How to Build a Cob Oven

Posted by & filed under Building.

Cob is an earthen building material that is made of clay, sand, straw, and water. It has been used for thousands of years to construct homes and buildings. It has been used worldwide, but has only recently started to attract interest from Western countries. Cob has its origins in millennia of traditional building, in some… Read more »

How to: Making Eco-Bricks (Costa Rica)

Posted by & filed under Building, Waste Systems & Recycling.

Finished bottles. Remember, one’s trash is another’s treasure! Last year I worked on making cob walls for a chicken coop, after attending a natural building course over a weekend which taught me about bahareque, the Central American equivalent of cob, if you will, which is adapted for tropical climates and for heavily seismic areas. The… Read more »

Rob’s Modified Walipini

Posted by & filed under Building, Nurseries & Propogation.

When a friend of mine told me that they wanted to build a walipini, my first reaction was, of course, “what the heck is a walipini?” The answer was simple: a walipini is an underground passive solar style greenhouse. It’s an innovative and potentially inexpensive way to grow food in our cold northern climate. When… Read more »

Can Earth Building Scale Up to the Mainstream? Robert Alcock on the Power of Keeping It Small

Posted by & filed under Building, Society, Waste Systems & Recycling.

Rob Hopkins: Our recent post about Kevin McCabe’s ‘cob citadel’ and what we might learn from it about ‘scaling up’ generated a lot of debate and discussion. Robert Alcock, a cob self-builder living in Spain commented that “the really great thing about cob is that it is an inherently anti-mainstream material”. Intrigued, and wanting to… Read more »

Zed Eco-homes (India)

Posted by & filed under Building, Eco-Villages.

Every so often an individual is given exposure to another individual so wildly dynamic that it confuses, entertains, but most of all, inspires. This is how I would describe meeting Dr. Hariharan Chandreshekar, CEO of Biodiversity Conservation India Limited (BCIL), the company that designs and manufactures some of the most renowned eco-homes on the planet.