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Earthen Techniques

Built by Hand
Photographs by Yoshio Komatsu
Text by Athena Steen, Bill Steen and Eiko Komatsu

A modern, full-color version of the Bernard Rudofsky's classic Architecture without Architects, Built by Hand takes readers on a manificent journey to distant corners of the earth in search of the world's most amazing vernacular architecture. Built by Hand is the most comprehensive and groundbreaking documentation of handmade architecture ever published.
 

Wonderful Houses Around The World
by Yoshio Komatsu
Illustrated by Akira Nishiyama

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The Natural Plaster Book:
by Cedar Rose Guelberth & Dan Chiras
In the last decade, clay, gypsum and lime plasters have been “rediscovered” as earth-friendly and healthy replacements for cement stucco and conventional paint. Natural plaster finishes can be durable as well as beautiful with the proper mix, preparation and application. This new resource offers valuable advice for natural building design and construction techniques that work well in conjunction with natural finishes in any climate. A comprehensive guide to soil and material selection, tools, mixing and plastering techniques, The Natural Plaster Book helps demystify this age-old art, pointing out common mistakes and ways to avoid them. Well-illustrated with a lovely color photo section and numerous drawings, this useful guide includes an extensive resource guide to further information and suppliers.
 
Earthbag Building
by Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyer
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Adobe Houses for Today
by Laura Sanchez and Alex Sanchez
Flexible Plans for your Adobe Home by Laura and Alex Sanchez. Featuring detailed floor plans for twelve compact homes, this practical book takes you from the design through the building process of adobe buildings. Profuse B&W photos document the diversity of adobe styles and building details, and readers are encouraged to play with the variety of well-proportioned plans in creating a personal design. These thick-walled CAD drawings can also be adapted to strawbale homes as well.
 
The Cobber's Companion:
How To Build Your Own Earthen Home

by Michael Smith & the Cob Cottage Company
Cobber's Companion A start-to-finish practical manual to building yourself a "dirt cheap" home from your own back yard. Age-old cob techniques are enhanced by recent innovations. Its many illustrations inform and amuse.
 
The Hand-Sculpted House:
A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage

by Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith, and Linda Smiley
Literally rising from the earth that surrounds it, a cob cottage may be the ultimate expression of ecological design. Constructed from clay, straw, sand and water, cob homes can be literally “dirt cheap,” if they are owner-designed and built. Long awaited, this lovely new book offers the information required to begin the rewarding process of creating a beautiful, natural, healthy and earth-friendly house for minimal cost. A thorough guide to design and building outside of the box, The Hand Sculpted House describes natural building components and their properties, siting and design, and construction from the ground up – redefining conventional notions of what a home must be. Practical, radical, and liberating, this resource offers a myriad of creative expressions of shelter and the possibility of mortgage-free living. Prepare for a shift in consciousness when you open this book!
 
Building With The Earth:
Oregon's Cob Cottage Company

by Cob Cottage Company
Cob Cottage video This inspiring video introduces some remarkable people who create buildings out of cob that teach us how to live more simply and closer to the earth.
 
The Rammed Earth House
by David Easton
The Rammed Earth House This book offers complete information for anyone interested in this method of building which creates a structure of timeless beauty and Old World charm.
 
Buildings of Earth and Straw:
Structural Design for Rammed Earth and Straw-Bale Architecture

by Bruce King, PE
Buildings of Earth and Straw Written by a structural engineer, this book provides a tool for owner/builders, architects, and engineers to approach the structural design of rammed-earth and straw-bale buildings. It is a valuable companion to other works on the subject of earth and straw.
 
Earth Plasters for Straw Bale Homes
by Keely Meagan
Earth Plasters for Straw Bale Homes Why finish your straw-bale home with an earth plaster? Non-toxic, ecological, breathable and beautiful, earth plasters can be "dirt cheap" if you do it yourself from on-site materials. This resource compiles wisdom from the hands-on experiences of several modern-day "mudders," explaining the entire earth-plaster process. It is complete with plaster recipes, instructions, diagrams and photographs.
 
Earthen Floors
by Athena and Bill Steen
Earthen Floors An illustrated booklet by the co-authors of The Straw Bale House which guides one through several methods of creating a beautiful, comfortable and economical earth floor.
 
Rocket Stoves
To Heat Cob Buildings: How to build a super efficient wood fired heater
by Ianto Evans with Leslie Jackson
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Build Your Own Earth Oven: A low-cost, wood-fired mud oven; simple sourdough bread; perfect loaves
by Kiko Denzer
Updated and enlarged, this book is a great introduction to building with cob, detailing all the stages of building an earth oven and baking great bread in it. Wonderfully illustrated, Denzer's earth-oven creations will inspire you to go play in the mud.


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