Green Living Journal article page logo
northwestern and central Vermont
click to visit this advertiser\
click to visit this advertiser\
This ad has been seen 102,022 times

spectrum line
The Natural House : Champlain edition : Saturday, 25 March 2017 07:33 EDT : a service of The Public Press
spectrum line
other editions:
River Valley
Upper Connecticut River Valley
Columbia River
Portland, Oregon - Vancouver, Washington
spectrum line
Read our current paper issue here
current issue cover
Who We Are
Advertising Information
Who Reads Green Living?

look up

many more articles about
click for more Building articlesclick for more Garden articles
click for more Health articlesclick for more Energy articles
click for more Money articlesclick for more Food articles
click for more Nature articlesclick for more Education articles
click for more Travel articles

more Building articles
   Web   Green Living

click to visit this advertiser\
click to visit this advertiser\
This ad has been seen 77,549 times

Good Resource For Alternative Building

     by Marshall Glickman

The Natural House: A Guide to Healthy, Energy-Efficient, Environmental Homes
By Daniel Chiras
Chelsea Green Publishing
468 pages, $35 quiet zone

After his divorce, Daniel Chiras, a professor of biology who teaches courses on sustainable development at two Colorado state universities, decided to build an ecofriendly home, more or less by himself. There was one snafu, however: Chiras had little experience swinging a hammer or pouring concrete. So he did what he does best and set out on a research quest to find the most environmentally benign and elegant type of home there is--a form that is soft on the planet, healthy for its occupants, and easy to build. Chiras never finds the perfect, hands-down definitive building method, but he does present an excellent overview and detailed review of the leading and most popular contenders, such as (among others) Earthships, straw bale, cordwood, adobe, stone, and cob construction.

In addition to being extensively researched (at 468 large-sized pages, it's slab of a book), what makes The Natural House such an excellent resource is Chiras' willingness to point out flaws in the various building methods he covers. Since he's not in the construction business, he doesn't advocate for any particular type of building. Though Chiras settles on a Earthship-straw bale combination for his own home, he isn't shy about reporting the problems he's encountered both with building and maintaining his home. Every chapter on a particular building method is ended with a summary of the pros and cons of that particular construction technique. The Natural House also includes chapters on a wide range of ecobuilding topics such as landscaping, green building materials, and sustainable water systems.

- Marshall Glickman

4,160 neighbors have viewed this article.

spectrum line
home        the top                WHO WE ARE        ADVERTISE        
spectrum line
Champlain editor: Ellen Shapiro
advertising : Ellen Shapiro : 802.373.4006 : Ellen <at> GreenLivingJournal.com

site designed by the Caspar Institute
this site generated with 100% recycled electrons!
send website feedback to the GLJwebster <at> CasparInstitute.org
last updated 20 January 2009 :: 9:04 :m: Yes We Can! Caspar (Pacific) time
all content and photos copyright © 2001-2017
by Stephen Morris & Michael Potts, Green Living Journal
except as noted

K 314 2GreenlinePV134.jpg102,0221,467145,361
B 100
207 BackwoodsSolarCR154.jpg77,54970568,182