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The Art of Natural Building-Second Edition-Completely Revised, Expanded and Updated (PDF)

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Publisher: New Society Publishers
Pub. Date: 2014-07-01
ISBN: 9781550925609
Format: Digital - 480 pages
Size: 8" x 9" (w x h)
BISAC: HOUSE & HOME / Sustainable Living

The Art of Natural Building-Second Edition-Completely Revised, Expanded and Updated (PDF)

Design, Construction, Resources

The popularity of natural building has grown by leaps and bounds, spurred by a grassroots desire for housing that is healthy, affordable and environmentally responsible. While there are many books available on specific methods such as strawbale construction, cob or timber framing, few other resources introduce the reader to the entire scope of this burgeoning field.

Fully revised and updated, The Art of Natural Building is the complete and user-friendly introduction to natural building for everyone from do-it-yourselfers to architects and designers. This collection of articles from 60 leaders in the field is stunningly illustrated with over 400 photos of natural buildings from around the world. At 465 pages, this massive resource is over 50% longer than the original edition. Out of 64 chapters, 26 are new to this edition, and nearly all of the rest have been completely revised to reflect recent developments. Learn about:

  • The case for building with natural materials, from the perspectives of sustainability, lifestyle and health
  • What you need to know to plan and design your own beautiful and efficient natural home
  • Explanations of thirty versatile materials and techniques, each with and up-to-date resource list of where to go for further information and training
  • How these techniques are being used to address housing crises around the world, with 12 case studies from China to Argentina.

Clearly written, logically organized and beautifully illustrated The Art of Natural Building is the encyclopedia of natural building.

About the Authors

Joseph F. Kennedy cofounded Builders Without Borders, an international consortium of natural builders and architects serving homeless and under-housed populations. He teaches ecological design and natural building at New College of California, and co-edited The Art of Natural Building.

Michael Smith is the author of The Cob Cottage (Chelsea Green, 2001), among other books.

Catherine Wanek is a cofounder of Builders Without Borders. A passionate advocate of natural building techniques for over two decades, she is the author and photographer of The Hybrid House and The New Straw Bale Home. She also produced the videos The Strawbale Solution, the Building With Straw video series and Urban Permaculture. Catherine is the owner of the Black Range Lodge, a historic bed-and-breakfast inn located in the mountains of southwest New Mexico, which is becoming known as a center for ecological building and healthy living.


"The Art of Natural Building — Second Edition is an epic adventure through the world of natural building. No stone is left unturned in presenting the beauty, inclusiveness, human, socially and environmentally responsible world of building with what the earth gives us, where we are. As a whole, it's a bit overwhelming — so much to take in — and yet each subject is complete within itself. The spirit of this book is attuned to its subject — gentle, simple, embracing, humble, caring, and infused with love for each other, our communities, and the earth. It's really about creating a humane world, a beacon to guide us through difficult times."
Bill Hutchins, founder/principal, Helicon Works Architects

"This is a book to live your life by — to improve your life in every aspect. No single problem is overlooked, from global warming to the imbalance of wealth and poverty. [This book] draws from a variety of tried-and-true methods while bringing us into today's world — anyone, anywhere can build an affordable home from the practical details in this volume."
Marion Bridge, author, Passion for Earth: Earth Houses in New Zealand

"This is a well-illustrated and comprehensive, wide-ranging book on many methods and aspects of natural building, drawing on materials from many parts of the world and written by prominent practitioners and proponents. It will be much anticipated by those who are either keen to promote natural building, or who are simply wishing to find out a whole lot more about it, what it means, and to see a whole range of examples. If you want to learn about the state of natural building today, I suggest that you grab a copy."
Graeme North, chair, Earth Building Association of New Zealand

"A magnificent collection from the natural building all-stars. If you're looking for the collective wisdom of the entire tribe, you'll find it gathered here. Don't build a home without it."
Bruce King, engineer and author, and founder, BuildWellLibrary.org

"Experienced practitioners Wanek, Kennedy and Smith's Art of Natural Building (second edition) is a tour de force, providing a veritable encyclopedia of ecologically sound, healthy building designs constructed out of a remarkable range of locally available natural materials. Readers will be inspired to action by the 64 case examples written by many of the world's leading natural building innovators, enriched with 200 illuminating visuals. This is a go-to resource that should be prominently featured on every public and private library shelf."
Michael P Totten, Senior Fellow, Rocky Mountain Institute

"The first edition of The Art of Natural Building blew me away. Part practical manual, part radical manifesto for a reimagining of construction, part rich immersion in a global movement rooted in craftsmanship, beauty and place. Every home in these pages is a work of heart. As Naomi Klein put it recently, "there are no non-radical solutions left". This book is packed with radical solutions, yet solutions which build community, bring beauty (yes, I'll use that word again) into our lives, and leave us happier, healthier and more skilled. I love it. I'm sure you will too."
Rob Hopkins, founder, Transition Town movement and author, The Power of Just Doing Stuff

"It's great to have a new edition of this classic treasure-chest of information on natural building. Most of the space enclosures built in the 20th century were toxic energy hogs; this book points the way to sustainable, comfortable, and beautiful alternatives."
Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute and author, Afterburn

"Not only a rich and mouthwatering menu of natural building techniques, this up-to-date guidebook allows you to savor the advice and wisdom of an international collection of experts and practitioners in this evolving field, critical to our collective future. With chapters on how to get a permit or a LEED rating, design for your climate, and apply building science to buildings of dirt and straw, along with a whole new section of sage experience from case studies worldwide, this book is a go-to guide for new and seasoned natural building enthusiasts."
Laura Bartels, president, GreenWeaver and board president, Colorado Straw Bale Association

"The Art of Natural Building lays out historical context for how buildings are constructed around the world, in various climates, using various indigenous materials. This book remains a valuable resource for any natural building library, with many updates from the first edition. The focus is not a how-to guide, but rather imparting inspiration, showing what is possible when you build naturally."
Sigi Koko, principal and founder, Down to Earth Design

"The Art of Natural Building provides a thoughtful, accessible compilation of natural building materials and methods, while also exploring the cultural, economic and sociological aspects of community and the built environment. The comprehensive scope, along with practical tips, ideas, examples and case studies make this new edition a valuable resource for professionals, communities and individuals interested in natural building. It is an informative, interesting and inspiring read that also sparks new ideas and invites reflection. I highly recommend perusing, reading and frequently revisiting this insightful, helpful book."
Dr. Lisa Wipplinger, SE, LEED AP BD+C


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