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No. 62, Winter 2014

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No. 62, Winter 2014

Making Better Buildings (Book Review)

Reviewed by Jeff Ruppert Making Better Buildings: A Comparative Guide to Sustainable Construction for Homeowners and Contractors by Chris Magwood will be released this Spring and promises to be one of the most valuable tools for the designer and builder who wants to understand how their choices of systems rank in terms of…
Jeff Ruppert
February 8, 2014
No. 62, Winter 2014

What’s in a Name?

This is a sidebar as part of the Code approval article in upcoming Issue #61. The International Code Council (ICC) and its series of International Codes, carry with their name the implication of global applicability, use, and acceptance.  The ICC was formed in 1994 as a non-profit entity to replace…
The Last Straw
January 30, 2014
No. 62, Winter 2014

Healthy Living, Healthy Building

Twelve years ago I had never even heard of building with straw.  I lived in a four-bedroom colonial house in a subdivision in Maryland.  The conventional American Dream – good job, big house, nice cars, the monthly lawn service, the health club membership, 24/7 access to shopping … Then on…
Elaine Brett
January 11, 2014
No. 62, Winter 2014

Red de Construcción con Paja

BIENVENIDOS, we're the Spanish-speaking straw bale network RCP (Red de Construcción con Paja), or Network of Building with Straw. The RCP network of straw bale construction is a non profit organization with about 75 active members, but with a lot of fans. Our webpage has more than 7,000 visits a…
No. 62, Winter 2014

Earth Render (Book Review)

Reviewed by Jeff Ruppert Earth Render: The art of clay plaster, render and paints by James Henderson is a refreshing, easy approach to what can become an overwhelming process.  As anyone knows who has worked in the natural building trades, earthen materials are highly variable and therefore require a basic…
Jeff Ruppert
December 31, 2013
No. 62, Winter 2014

Light Straw-Clay Appendix in the IRC

An appendix on Light Straw-Clay Construction was also approved for inclusion in the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC).  To date only the states of New Mexico and Oregon have a section on Light Straw-Clay Construction in their building code.  The proposal received a 6-3 approval vote at Building Committee Hearings…
The Last Straw
December 20, 2013
No. 62, Winter 2014

Selecting A Natural Hydraulic Lime

Thanks to the hard work of a few, Natural Hydraulic Lime has become one of the materials of choice for restoration/preservation projects and natural building construction in the United States. Suddenly realizing the great potential of NHLs in the US, and feeling the economic hardship abroad, several European manufacturers have…
Michel Couvreux
October 18, 2013
No. 62, Winter 2014

Feuillette House

Update: The Feuillette House has been purchased by the Centre National de la Construction Paille.  They are still in need of support to complete their plans for creating a visitor center at the historic site.   While Nebraska makes the claim for the origins of bale construction, the French have an excellent example…
The Last Straw
October 5, 2013
No. 62, Winter 2014

The Straw Bale Alternative Solutions Resource by ASRI

The Straw Bale Alternative Solutions Resource is a document prepared by the Alternative Solutions Resource Institute (ASRI) addressing, obviously, bale construction.  While the goal of ASRI is to "foster and facilitate the use of natural materials and systems in the construction of buildings..." this document is meant to focus specifically…
The Last Straw
September 20, 2013

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