Archive for February 2009

Architects designing custom homes often seem to go overboard on the complexity of the shape, seemingly unaware of the impacts on construction cost and operational cost. Let’s look at the walls of two custom homes of equal floor area but different shape. Both homes are 5400 square feet on one level, nice sprawling ranch homes [...]

The font page of the Toronto Star of today, Sunday February 15 2009, had the headline “Meet the doomsayers of our time” featuring some interviews with various ‘doomers’ in the city. I was impressed with the direction of the Toronto Survivalism Group which is not about the stereotypical independent survivalist hoarding food, fuel, guns & [...]

David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept, and author of the deep ecology treatise ‚ÄúPermaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability‚ÄĚ has examined the challenges of our times and created a web-based book at where he describes in detail how society will react to the issues of climate change and peak energy. Holmgren begins with [...]

In the interview How to Publish in a Recession, Chelsea Green president Margo Baldwin recounts some of the best selling backlist titles: The Four Season Harvest and New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman (over 100k copies sold of all editions), The Straw Bale House (over 150k copies sold), The Man Who Planted Trees (300k copies [...]

WebEcoist has an article on 15 amazing earthen buildings from around the world. From the old to the modern, from small and inconspicuous to large and impressive, these buildings made of earth are worth a look. Although this list omits the mud skyscrapers of Yemen, it includes the equally stunning Hakka houses of China, and [...]

The 4th International EcoMaterials conference is in Cuba, November 24-27 2009. The organizers of the conference, EcoSouth, provide information and small equipment for making building materials such as microconcrete roofing, puzzolanic cement, earth brick construction, and more.