House of Earth: A Complete Handbook for Earthen Construction
Earth is the mother of all construction materials. For thousands of years, people have dug up the clay-soil below their feet and transformed it into the most versatile building material. Worldwide, people are rediscovering the advantages of earthen construction, and for good reasons: its easy to work with, extremely affordable, environmentally friendly, non-toxic, durable and beautiful! A few simple tools, such as buckets, shovels and a wheelbarrow is all you need to get started. By describing how to combine and process the basic ingredients of clay-soil, sand and straw, this book makes it clear and simple on how to make earthen building something you can start with the moment you put down the book! You will learn how to build with the most popular and time-tested techniques: Cob Adobe Light straw-clay Earth bags Earthen plasters Earthen floors Clay paints These techniques are being used to build entire houses, as well as for smaller projects, such as backyard sheds, cabins, outdoor fireplaces, garden walls and play houses. As a bonus, the appendix has complete instruction on how to build an earthen bread- and pizza oven, using the techniques described in the book. This makes for a great starter project! An often overlooked possibility is using earthen building methods to renovate existing homes on a shoestring budget, transforming run-down houses into earthen homes, without having to work with toxic or environmentally harmful building materials. After reading this book, you will realize how simple it is to integrate earthen materials with conventional building materials. The book covers everything, from identifying the right materials, to how to build arches and niches and incorporate plumbing and electric. It is also supported by YouTube videos and photos, which can be found at www.HouseAlive.org, adding additional clarity to the writing. "Conrad Rogue is a great builder, teacher, and philosopher. He is original in his thinking, skilled in his techniques, and passionate about the beauty and potential of earthen construction. And above all, he has the rare ability to skillfully convey all of that in his writing." ~ Mother Earth Magazine Conrad Rogue has been teaching earthen construction since 2001. He is the founder and director of House Alive. (www.HouseAlive.org). He has taught workshops in the United States, Mexico, Spain, Italy and India.