The Shelter Blog has been inactive since May, 2019. Too much to do! From this point on, Lloyd’s Blog will have the buildings, vehicles, and home-related posts such as what has previously appeared here. Go to lloydkahn.com.

Natural Building (92)

The Steen Family's Latest Straw Bale Building Project

Bill and Athena Steen, the straw bale/earthen plaster maestro/maestra team from Arizona are helping build this home, which will be featured in our new book, Small Homes.

Bill writes: “Interior adobe wall in a clay-plastered straw bale house we are helping our boys build in Sonoita, AZ.”

(Bill shoots pretty much all his photos with an iPhone — has been doing it for a few years. I’ve finally come around to doing this. Both of us still use the big cameras (him a Nikon, me an Olympus OM-D) for serious shoots, but the iPhone for everyday shots. The new iPhone 6s Plus has a super new camera.)

Post a comment

Building a Hut with a Kiln-Fired Tiled Roof

I built a hut with a tiled roof, underfloor heating and mud and stone walls. This has been my most ambitious primitive project yet and was motivated by the scarcity of permanent roofing materials in this location. Here, palm thatch decays quickly due to the humidity and insects. Having some experience in making pottery I wondered if roof tiles could feasibly be made to get around these problems. Another advantage of a tiled roof is that it is fireproof. A wood-fired, underfloor heating system was installed for cold weather. A substantial wall of mud and stone were built under the finished roof. It should be obvious that this is not a survival shelter but a project used to develop primitive technological skills.

From primitivetechnology.wordpress.com/…

From Rick Gordon

Post a comment

Small Earthbag House Saves Woman from the Grind

1381243_10153416290240437_1811797757_n

Hi Lloyd,

My name is Atulya K. Bingham and I run The Mud earthbag building website (www.themudhome.com). I hope my story inspires a few others to go for their dreams too.

I always wanted to write, and like many writers it was a passion I had to crowbar in between slabs of paid work. Then one day I had enough of compromising. Fortunately, I owned a small square of land in Turkey. I moved up there with a tent and not much else. It was the beginning of an adventure that changed every preconceived idea about what actually made me happy. Six months later, with only $6000 left and winter a month away, I gathered a team and embarked on the construction of a small earthbag house. I had zero building experience at the time.

Building my house was probably the most transformative thing I’ve ever taken on (and I’m no stranger to adventure). I ran out of money, made a heap of mistakes and was continually hounded by naysayers. But today I’m sitting inside that beautiful handcrafted home. Not one drop of cement was used and it is 100% solar-powered. My earthbag house has enabled me to leave behind the drudge of a job my heart wasn’t in and spend my days creating and writing instead. I love it.

There’s a free earthbag building PDF to download from my site if anyone wants it.

I’ve written the full story of the earthbag adventure in my popular book, Mud Ball.

–Atulya K. Bingham
Author of the OBBL winner Ayse’s Trail, and The Mud website.

… [More in full article] …

NH8

NH1

Post a comment (14 comments)

Welsh "Hobbit House" Faces Demolition

Welsh Hobbit House

Sent to us by Conor McBrierty :

A young family is making a last-ditch effort to save its cherished “hobbit house” from the bulldozers after planners deemed it had to be razed.

Charlie Hague and Megan Williams used natural materials to lovingly build their roundhouse tucked away in southwest Wales. But the pair, both 27, applied for planning permission only after moving in with their newborn son, Eli, in 2012.

Though many local people did not even know the small building was there, planners ruled the house did not fit in with the surrounding Pembrokeshire countryside and decided it had to go.

Read More …

Post a comment (7 comments)

My Talk/​Slideshow: "50 Years of Natural Building" This Weekend at Maker Faire

My first building in 1961, in Mill Valley, California, a studio with what is now called a “living roof”

I actually started building in 1960 and soon thereafter started shooting photos and interviewing builders for our series of books on handmade housing. In those days we didn’t call it “natural building,” but that’s what it was. In our book Shelter in 1973, a section of the book was devoted to these materials: wood, adobe, stone, straw bale, thatch, and bamboo. I guess we were natural before it was called “natural.”

A month or so ago, Cheryl Long, the editor at The Mother Earth News, asked me if I could do a talk on natural building at the TMEN fair in Albany, Oregon (near Corvallis) on the first weekend in June. As I was getting the materials together, the Maker Faire asked if I could do a presentation at their annual event in San Mateo, California, on May 16.
Read More …

Post a comment

Magical Hobbit-Like Eco Cave House

Underhill is an incredible hobbit-home eco-cave house built into a hillside. The off-the-grid house is cleverly constructed to resemble a cave. With no electricity in the house, the stone, wood and rustic features truly make you feel like you’re stepping back in time.

For more information on this house, visit www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com.

Post a comment

Yestermorrow School

Yestermorrow Design/Build School

One of the most common questions we get asked is “How do I learn how to build a tiny home?” A very superior answer would be the Yestermorrow School in Waitsfield, Vermont offering over 100 hands-on courses per year in design, construction, woodworking, and architectural craft including a variety of courses concentrating in sustainable design and green building. Yestermorrow is one of the only design/build schools in the country, teaching both design and construction skills. Hands-on courses are taught by top architects, builders, and craftspeople from across the country.
Read More …

Post a comment (1 comment)

Tiny Swiss Cabin Concealed Within Simulated Boulder

bureau-a-antoine-les-ruinettes-verbier-designboom-04

“…as a tribute to the alpine experience and the famed writer, Swiss studio Bureau A has sited their project ‘Antoine’ within the vast, mountainous expanse of the Alps. commissioned during an artist residency at the Verbier 3D Foundation, the architecture-cum-sculpture is inhabitable and structurally functional, comprising an indoor cabin with a fireplace, bed, table, stool and window. literally hanging on the rock-fall field, the small wooden dwelling hides its internal features within a projected concrete rock, deriving its shape from natural elements in its surrounding environment…”

Article at www.designboom.com/…
Read More …

Post a comment (2 comments)

Straw Bale and Timber Frame Home

04-strawtron

Hi Lloyd and Co.:

Saw your call for responses to the upcoming Small Homes book. Exciting! I think our straw bale & timber frame home fits squarely into that category. It’s actually around 440 sq. feet of interior heated space, but with the porch and balcony it’s a bit bigger.

15016408354_bd76ef81d5_c 08-strawtron 30-strawtron Read More …

Post a comment (1 comment)

Lloyd Kahn and His Greenhouse

Art Rogers Family Album, November 6, 2014 | The Point Reyes Light

lloyd_kahn_and_his_greenhouse

Lloyd Kahn and his greenhouse built from recycled windows and handmade bricks made from local clay. Photo by Art Rogers

Lloyd, who was born and raised in San Francisco, began building things in the late 1940s when, at age 12, he helped his father construct their family home in Colusa. After building a large timber home for himself from recycled materials in Big Sur in 1967, he became interested in domes and began his publishing career with a series of publications titled Dome Book 1 and Dome Book 2; he became the “Shelter” editor in 1969 for the Whole Earth Catalogue. He moved to Bolinas in 1971, built a dome, tore it down and replaced it with a stud-framed house and became a pioneer of owner-built simple structures using recycled materials. He has since published over 20 books on the subject, including  Shelter, and The Septic System Owners Manual, Builders of the Pacific Coast, and Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter.

He will be giving a slide presentation and book signing this Friday, November 7, 2014, 7:30 p.m., at the Point Reyes Presbyterian Church for his latest book about living in small structures, titled Tiny Homes on the Move: Wheels and Water.

For more information, visit www.pointreyesbooks.com.

Post a comment (2 comments)

How to Build a Reciprocal Roof Frame

reciprocal frame roof

In Tiny Homes, we did two pages (pp. 110-111) on Ziggy Liloia’s cob cottage. In this excerpt from his website, TheYearOfMud.com, he explains how he built his reciprocal framed roof.

ziggy-gobcobatron-01A reciprocal roof is a beautiful and simple self-supporting structure that can be composed of as few as three rafters, and up to any imaginable quantity (within reason, of course). Reciprocal roofs require no center support, they are quick to construct, and they can be built using round poles or dimensional lumber (perhaps with some creative notching). They are extremely strong, perfect for round buildings, and very appropriate for living roofs, as well. The reciprocal roof design was developed by Graham Brown in 1987. Read More …

Post a comment (1 comment)

Uncle Mud's Rocket Stoves

Hey Folks,

rocket stove bench

We have been working on some fun Rocket Heater projects. You might have seen the 8″ with a big cob bench that heats our 1600 sq. ft. uninsulated barn apartment even though our renter managed to blow the cleanout caps and crack the barrel seal by trying to start it with gasoline — I think it would have killed him if it had been a regular woodstove. I had been told that an autoclaved concrete core would disintegrate but its holding up pretty well in year two. Read More …

Post a comment (1 comment)
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!