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Building your own bioclimatic home from earth and straw

With very little instruction, anyone can build their own home, or so argues natural building expert Michael G. Smith. Since the early nineties, he’s been teaching people to do just that with natural materials like cob and straw bale and he says it’s quite simple.

“If you want to build for yourself, if you actually want to take the time to do the work for yourself, these techniques are very very simple to learn. Cob especially, we teach week-long cob workshops and at the end of that, people with no previous building experience at all know what they need to know to build the cob parts of the house.”

In this video, Smith shows us the natural homes (from cob, straw bale, clay wattle and slip straw) at the Emerald Earth Sanctuary, an intentional community in Mendocino, California where he currently lives and teaches. He explains how since earth homes require less investment in materials, they require more investment in labor, which means to build this way we will need to change the way we live and work.