Natural Building Books about the whole house.


This is a collection of natural building books that deal with many aspects of the whole home including several natural building methods.


Jacob Racusin explains how to do a ribbon test.


Making Better Buildings: A Comparative Guide to Sustainable Construction for Homeowners and Contractors
By: Chris Magwood, 2014


"This is written by one of the world's most experienced green builders and educators. It provides you with all the information necessary to compose the shade of green which suits you best. The information gathered here about issues such as techniques, embodied energy, health aspects are unique in the world, and is guaranteed to make this book the leading reference book for environmentally concerned building planners for years to come", Max Vittrup Jensen, consultant and director, PermaLot Centre of Natural Building


The Barefoot Architect: A Handbook for Green Building
By: Johan van Lengen, 2007


This book is for people who dream of building a simple home. It is also for those in the building trades: carpenters, masons, plumbers, and artisans, as well as for urban planners, rural technicians, and small community designers. It covers basic design, use of a great variety of natural materials, construction details, natural heating and cooling, and water and sanitation techniques. Although many of the methods shown are traditional, more modern techniques are shown as well.

Recommended by natural builder Elke Cole


The Natural Building Companion: A Comprehensive Guide to Integrative Design and Construction
By: Jacob Deva Racusin and Ace McArleton of New Frameworks Natural Building,
June 2012




Building a Low Impact Roundhouse
By: Tony Wrench of That Round House, June 2014

Tony and Jane built their house out of logs and earth with a turf roof on a community in Wales, this is the story of building the house. It shows this house looks nothing like the suburban box and nothing like conventional "owner-built" houses. Low-impact, low-cost, liveable, and using simple techniques.


Creating a Life Together, Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities
By: Diana Leafe Christian
, January 2003


Creating a Life Together is the only resource available that provides step-by-step practical information distilled from numerous firsthand sources on how to establish an intentional community. It deals in depth with structural, interpersonal and leadership issues, decision-making methods, vision statements, and the development of a legal structure, as well as profiling well-established model communities. This exhaustive guide includes excellent sample documents among its wealth of resources.


The Carbon-free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-fuel Habit
By: Stephen Hren and Rebekah Hren, September 2008


Stephen and Rebekah live in Durham, North Carolina, USA. Rebekah is a licensed electrician, designing and installing photovoltaic and solar hot water systems. Stephen teaches natural-building classes and workshops at the local community college. Their book shows first how to reduce energy consumption, then to retrofit existing homes to obtain all heating, cooling, cooking, refrigeration, hot water, and electricity from renewable sources.


Natural Building: A Guide to Materials and Techniques
By: Tom Woolley on CAT, August 2006

Describes the many materials and methods that have been used by the pioneers of natural building; discusses the reasons why various materials have been chosen and frankly explains their advantages and disadvantages; provides a detailed consideration of all the main forms of natural construction, including building with earth, timber and straw bales; and covers green and natural roofs, lime and masonry, and the use of hemp, as well as natural insulation materials, paints and finishes.


The Art of Natural Building: Design, Construction, Resources
By: Joseph H. Kennedy et al, November 2001

A complete and user-friendly introduction to natural building for non-professionals, architects and designers. From straw bale and cob to recycled concrete and salvaged materials, this anthology of articles from leaders in the field focuses on both the practical and the aesthetic concerns of ecological building designs and techniques. Above all, this empowering guide demonstrates that anyone can design and build a home from natural materials.


Econest: Creating Sustainable Sanctuaries of Clay, Straw, and Timber
By: Paula Baker-Laporte, Robert Laporte of Eco Nest, September 2005

Like the bird, humans desire shelter that is cosy and nurturing, that satisfies the soul, mind, and body. This is the econest.


Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
By: Thomas J. Elpel of Hollow Top, 2010

Living Homes takes you through the planning process to design an energy and resource efficient home that won't break the bank. Author Thomas J. Elpel guides you through the nuts and bolts of construction for tilt-up stone walls, log home construction, building with straw bales, making your own "terra tile" floors, windows & doors, solar water systems, masonry heaters, framing, plumbing, grey water, septic systems, swamp filters, painting and more!


Designing Your Natural Home: A Practical Guide
By: David Pearson, September 2005

Contains ten examples of people who have built their own homes of various sizes, materials, budgets and styles including timber, cob, rammed earth, tyres, stone, straw bale and reclaimed and salvaged materials. The book is full of inspiring photographs.


A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
By Christopher Alexander, August 1978

Used by Ted Owens of Building With Awareness to design his home. See his book here

This book enables any person to design a house by using "patterns" to solve design problems. These patterns simply state the concept, such as where to place windows, and then explain the resolution in a few paragraphs.


Building with Hemp
By: Steve Allin of Hemp Building, October 2005

This book showcases the recent development of using hemp products in an ecologically sustainable system. The information which can be used by architects, builders, developers, interior designers and 'do it yourself' enthusiasts, is presented in plain language and includes over 300 colour photographs, illustrations and diagrams. Based on over eight years research and experiment by the author and the experience of those at the forefront of hemp building development in France.


Guastavino Vaulting: The Art of Structural Tile
John Ochsendorf, September 2010


Since the time of ancient Rome, architects, engineers, and builders have struggled with the problem of building domed ceilings over large spaces. No one was more skilled at this than the Rafael Guastavino family, a father and son team from Span who oversaw the construction of thousands of spectacular thin-tile vaults across the United States between the 1880s and the 1950s.


50 Dollars and Up Underground House Book
By: Mike Oehler of Underground Housing, April 1982

Explains the whole process of designing and building an underground home, first from basic design right through to a built-in greenhouse. Mike explains why they can be warm in the winter and cool in the summer and how the architectural possibilities are enormous.