Natural homes built by inspirational women ...

 
 

 
 
 

These nine homes have all been built by women. They are built using roundwood, straw bales, reed, clay, lime, adobe, cob, cobwood, earthbags, birch bark, traditionally framed timber and slip-straw. Below you can read about each of these women and follow links to their websites, facebook pages and stall in the Market Place. You'll find nine more here...

Follow the buttons above each of their pictures:

Link to a website

Link to a Facebook page

A stall in the Market Place

 
 
 
     
 
   
 
 
     

Poland

 
   


Paulina Wojciechowska is an architect and natural builder. This is a home she built in Poland, a roundwood framed building with straw bale and cobwood walls. Paulina is perhaps best known for building with earthbags and she often uses them in the foundations of her straw bale homes. In the video (right) Paulina talks about her work and inspiration to be a natural builder.

 
   
 
     
 
     
 
 
       

Portugal

 
   


Wendy Howard lives in Portugal where she is transforming her 2.5ha (5+ acre) plot of land into an off-grid permaculture education centre. In the video (right) she tells her story presenting all the projects she has brought together including restoring and extending the stone buildings on the property, building a beautiful cob bathroom (right) and all manner of off-grid projects like a water wheel for electricity, solar water heating and a worm composting toilet.

 
   
 
     
 
     
 
 
   

Romania

 
   


This is one of the cob homes built by architect and natural builder Ileana Mavrodin of Casa Verde in Banat, Romania. She, with a few others, are using natural materials in Romania to help people rediscover their local skills and community spirit. You can see the steps in the construction of Ilena's cob house on her website from the rubble trench to the roundwood green roof. In the video (right) she gives a tour (in English) of her cob home.

 
   
 
         
 
     
 
 
       
 

New Mexico, USA

 
   


This is Carole Crews adobe home, although it uses other natural building techniques too.

Adobe is a mixture of clay, sand and straw formed into blocks which are left to dry in the sun before being used to build with. Carole tells her story about building her home in the video (right). Carole has written a book, Clay Culture, which takes the reader through the traditional building methods of New Mexico to the restoration of earthen homes with recipes for mixing clays.

 
   
 
         
 
     
 
 
     
 

Finland

 
   


This is Heidi's cottage in Finland. It's built with a variety of natural building techniques with a rubble trench, earthbag stem walls dressed in stone, birch bark damp-proof membrane beneath the straw bales on the northern walls with cob and cordwood to the south and a reciprocal roof on a roundwood frame. The roof is made from a ring of roundwood timbers interlocking and supporting one another. This self supporting roof is called a reciprocal roof. The design leaves a circular hole in the roof that forms a skylight bringing light directly into the heart of Heidi's natural home.

   
     
 
   
 
 
     

North Carolina, USA

 
   


This is Liz Johndrow of Earthen Endeavors and her traditionally built timber frame cottage with slip-straw walls and earthen plasters. It was built with eleven women volunteers near Asheville in North Carolina, USA. Liz teaches in Nicaragua where she introduced contemporary styles of natural building.

   
     
 
   
 
 

West Virginia, USA

 
   


It would be difficult to find another cottage with better sustainable credentials than this straw bale cottage in West Virginia, USA. It was built by natural builder and architect Sigi Koko. The cottage has a rubble trench foundation with exterior straw bale walls plastered with lime outside and clay inside. All the timber was locally grown and lots of salvaged parts like windows were used in the building.

   
     
 
   
 
 
       

Tanzania

 
   


Elke Cole started her natural building journey building using cob (a mixture of clay, sand and straw) in Vancouver Island, Canada. She then spent some 10 years at O.U.R. Ecovillage building with other natural building materials like straw bale and slip-straw. Her building (right) is a demonstration cob cottage with an adobe vaulted roof that she built with locals teaching natural building techniques. The cottage is on the edge of the Irangi hills in the Miombo forest in Tanzania.

   
     
 
       
 
 
   

Denmark

 
   


Poula-Line built her home from roundwood, straw bales and clay plasters in Fri & Fro (Free and Happy) ecoVillage in Egebjerg, Denmark. Her inspiration came from a conch shell she found on a beach in Malaysia. While she built her home Poula lived in a tiny straw bale cabin which she calls the Smurf House. The main house has a ground floor of 75m2 and upstairs two small rooms in the spiral roof.