What Is Natural or Alternative Building?
"Natural building" refers to construction methods that differ from mainstream modern architecture. They often use natural building materials, with a strong emphasis on sustainable design.
Recently, popular housing materials, such as treated lumber, synthetic insulation and certain paints (to name a few) have been exposed as harmful to both the environment and the inhabitants of the houses. There is no dispute over this issue.
While green buildings most often include high technology as part of their design, alternative buildings more often depend on traditional designs (reflecting wisdom which has evolved over many generations) and creative use of locally available materials and limited resources. Indeed, some would say that "alternative building" is quite an odd phrase, considering that the strategies used to conserve energy and materials have been documented for millennia in some cases.
Practices such as adobe, wattle and daub, mud-brick, rammed earth, earth bag and straw bale housing construction are alive and well. In some instances the houses are less expensive to build and maintain, healthier to live in and more sturdy and reliable than those made from "conventional" materials.
Natural Building Module Content
Course tutorr will explain techniques and information in precise upskilling presentations followed by immediate application as you build walls at the Centre.
Graeme Scott, local entrepreneur, builder & co-director of the Living Wood Fair, used to lead this module and will now be a guest tutor.
Sick vs healthy homes
Grey water systems
Use of local, non-toxic materials
Alternative power systems
House design practicum