The Art of Natural Building: Design, Construction, Resources
Edited by Joseph F. Kennedy, Michael G. Smith, and Catharine Wanek. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, 2002. Paperback, 288 pages, $26.95.“Natural building is nothing new,” begins
The Art of Natural Building: Design, Construction, Resources. Nor is it obsolete, argue editors Joseph F. Kennedy, Michael G. Smith, and Catharine Wanek. This recent addition to the natural building library presents a collection of short essays by dozens of the world’s most prominent activists, thinkers, and practitioners in the natural building realm. While providing a clear introduction for novices, this book will also engage architects, designers, and builders.The editors begin with a compilation of arguments supporting natural building. Included are calculable factors such as financial savings, human health benefits, and lower embodied energy, as well as more spiritual considerations, such as empowerment, aesthetics, and connection to tradition. The editors go on to present advice on design and planning, as well as a discussion of materials and techniques. Topics range from relatively familiar straw-bale building, timber framing, and green roofs, to more peripheral systems, such as thatching and hemp building. The case studies section merges the “what,” “why,” and “how” of natural building into testimonial success stories.
Finally, the book leaves readers with suggestions on where to go for more information. Along with the resources listed after each essay, the editors provide their own suggested learning centers, books, and periodicals. If you were stranded on a desert island, they propose, what information resources would you choose to guide the design and construction of your settlement? Among their “desert island” resources is
Environmental Building News—the island conveniently receives mail.
(2002, May 1). The Art of Natural Building: Design, Construction, Resources. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/newsbrief/art-natural-building-design-construction-resources