Adobe is a natural building material mixed from sand, clay, and straw, dung or other fibrous materials, which is shaped into bricks using frames and dried in the sun. It is similar to cob and mud brick. Adobe structures are extremely durable and account for the oldest extant buildings on the planet. Adobe buildings also offer significant advantages in hot, dry climates; they remain cooler as adobe stores and releases heat very slowly.
Super Adobe is a form of Earthbag Construction that was developed by Iranian architect Nader Khalili. The technique utilizes long snake like sand bags to form a beehive shaped compressive structure that employs arches, domes, and vaults to create single and double-curvature shell structures that are strong and aesthetically pleasing
BAMBOO is an amazing source as a sustainable building material. It is considered a weed, and is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet! Some varieties can grow up the 3 feet in one day. It has a higher tensile strength than steel, and higher compressive strength than brick, concrete, and wood.
Ceramic houses are buildings made of an earth mixture which is high in clay, and fired to become hardened ceramic. The process of building and firing such houses was developed by Iranian architect, Nader Khalili, in the late 1970s. he named it Geltaftan; “Gel”, means “clay”, and “taftan”, means “firing, baking, and weaving clay” in Persian. Khalili’s research into creating ceramic houses was strongly based on the idea that permanent, water-resistant, and earthquake-resistant houses could be built with the implementation of the four elements: earth and water to build the forms, and fire and air to finish them.
Earthships are earth-sheltered autonomous buildings (building designed to be operated independently from infrastructural support services such as the electric power grid, municipal water systems, sewage treatment systems, storm drains, communication services, and in some cases public roads.) made of tires rammed with earth, which are usually arranged in “U” or horseshoe shaped modules. Each tire is rammed full of earth manually using a sledge hammer. Windows on the sunny side admit light and heat. The “U” shape of the structure faces South in the northern hemisphere, and North in the southern hemisphere, so that the house will catch maximum sunlight in the colder months. An Earthship is designed to interface with its environment wherever possible and create its own utilities
Geodesic Domes are spherical structures based on a network of struts arranged on great circles (geodesics) lying approximately on the surface of a sphere. The geodesics intersect to form triangular elements that have local triangular rigidity and yet also distribute the stress across the entire structure. It is the only man-made structure that becomes proportionally stronger as it increases in size. When completed to form a full sphere, it is known as a geodesic sphere. Of all known structures made from linear elements, a geodesic dome has the highest ratio of enclosed volume to weight. Geodesic domes are far stronger as complete units than the individual struts would suggest. It is common for a new dome to reach a “critical mass” during construction, shift slightly, and lift any attached scaffolding from the ground
Monolithic Domes are super strong reinforced concrete structures built using an inflatable airbag form. Many examples have survived tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and high winds. FEMA rates them as near absolute protection from Category 5 Hurricanes and F5 tornadoes. Monolithic Domes have high thermal mass with high insulation value which makes them very energy efficient. They are also almost invulnerable to termites and other pests, seeing how Monolithic Domes are sealed so well. They can also be built underground!
Rammed earth construction, also known as pisé de terre or simply pisé, is an age-old building method that has seen a revival in recent years as people seek low-impact building materials and natural building methods. Traditionally, rammed earth buildings are common in arid regions where wood is in scarce supply. Rammed earth construction is a process of compressing a damp mixture of earth that has suitable proportions of sand, gravel and clay (sometimes with an added stabilizer) into an external supported frame that molds the shape of a wall section creating a solid wall of earth. Traditional stabilizers such as lime or animal blood were used to stabilise the material, but cement has been the stabilizer of choice for modern times. After compressing the earth the wall frames can be immediately removed and require an extent of warm dry days after construction to dry and harden. The structure can take up to two years to completely cure, and the more it cures the stronger the structure becomes. When the process is complete it is much like constructing a hand made wall of solid rock.
Straw-bale construction is a building method that uses straw bales as structural elements, insulation, or both. It is commonly used in natural building. It has advantages over some conventional building systems because of its cost and easy availability, and its high insulation value.
Although grasses and straw have been in use in a range of ways in building since pre-history around the world, their incorporation in machine-manufactured modular bales seems to date back to the early 20th century in the midwestern United States, particularly the sand-hills of Nebraska, where grass was plentiful and other building materials (even quality sods) were not.
A Tipi (also Teepee, Tepee) is a conical tent originally made of animal skins or birch bark and popularized by the Native Americans of the Great Plains. The dwelling was remarkably durable, and gave warmth and comfort to its inhabitants during harsh winters, was dry during heavy rains, and cool during the heat of summers. It was portable, which was an important factor since most Plains Indians were highly mobile, and could be broken down and packed away quickly when a tribe decided to move, and could be constructed just as quickly when a tribe settled an area. Tipis are stereotypically associated with Native Americans, even though Native Americans from places other than the Great Plains built different types of dwellings.
A Yurt is a portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia.