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The Art of Natural Building: Design, Construction, Resources

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The Art of Natural Building is the encyclopedia of natural building for non-professionals as well as architects and designers. From straw bale and cob, to recycled concrete and salvaged materials, this anthology of articles from leaders in the field focuses on both the practical and the esthetic concerns of ecological building designs and techniques. Includes examples of d ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by New Society Publishers
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 ·  61 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in building
Shelves: non-fiction, diy, housing
This is the best book I've read recently on the rapidly evolving natural building scene. It's not just about the high end boutique eco-house crowd, it's also about developing world groups finding real, low cost and impact housing for their local needs. Some designs have been earthquake tested on a shake table or in real life, as well as hurricane resistant, and building codes are being updated in the developed world. More non-US/UK coverage than before if I remember the 1st edition correctly.

David Gamble
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for what it is- a series of essays and case studies on different kinds of building, finishing, even problem resolution from around the world. This is not a how to book and will not tell you how to do these things.
I have some basic experience and have built or worked on a handful of structures using different methods. I got the book with the intention of getting ideas on how to do things differently and in a more effective, sustainable way. It certainly delivered for that pu
Nathan Titus
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-world
A great introduction to natural building. Covers a wide range of topics, every for of natural building I'm aware of. As an introduction it can't go into any of them in detail but if that's what you want to do the book lists resources for further study at the end of every chapter. Not really for pleasure reading, and there was a slight anti technology theme undercurrent that I didn't much care for but for what it was--an introduction to natural building--quite good.
Wendy Keel
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
*I received this book from Edelweiss for the purpose of an honest review*
Review is cross-posted to

I found the Art of Natural Building to informative and interesting. I will say for me I think the book will be better enjoyed in print format vs ebook. I can see this book being added to many reference shelves for use at later dates. If you are interested in the use of natural materials I'd recommend you pick up the Art of Natural Building.
Aleksandar Janković
Good overview of natural building techniques with lots of practical tips and a great list of resources to look up further. You will have a pretty good idea of what each technique looks like and this should give you a clearer idea of what will work in your specific project and what you need to learn about further.
Mar 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
A great intro to cob and straw bale housing. Plenty also on alternative mortar walls, like cord wood and recyled bottles and cans. A few great essays on the importance of building with natural materials and locally found materials. Looks like I'm going to building my own nest someday.
Stacey Delgado
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great introduction to natural building through short informative articles. I definately recommend!
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
The point of view is rather hippy and tree hugger-ish, but it has a lot of good information and ideas.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
lots of text and information. mostly applies to houses in the south west. they suggest you dance and sing about your miniature house models
May 02, 2012 marked it as to-read
I may not be able to have my entire next house be built this way but I would love to have an outbuilding, an office or guest cottage built this way.
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