Book Review: The Beauty of Straw Bale Homes

Straw bales are a renewable resource, and they are becoming a widely used construction material in some parts of the U.S. Many localities have specific codes for strawbale construction, and some banks are willing to lend on this technique. Bale walls can be erected quickly, even by amatuer builders. This book, The Beauty of Straw Bale Homes, is lavishly illustrated, …

Book Review: Earthbag Building

What is Earthbag Building? Well, plainly enough, it’s a method of building using bags filled with earth. This newly released book, Earthbag Building, is the first comprehensive guide to all the tools, tricks, and techniques for building with earthbags. Having been introduced to sandbag construction by the renowned Nader Khalili in 1993, the authors developed this “Flexible Form Rammed Earth …

Book Review: “Transmaterial”

Transmaterial, a book edited by Blaine Brownell, covers “materials, products and processes that are redefining our physical environment.” The book is filled with surveys of metaeffective materials. The chapters include: ultraperforming materials, multidimensional, recombinant and transformational materials. The entire book is available as a PDF File (11MB). See this review from World Changing for more information.

Book Review: Portable Houses

When some people vacation, they take their homes with them. Those are the people Irene Rawlings and Mary Abel write about in Portable Houses, a book devoted to all sorts of movable shelters and the people who created or renovated them. The examples featured in the book range in elaborateness from a canvas miner’s tent to a Boeing 737 jet …