Open main menu
edit  watch  

The Construction and materials Portal

Kiva's straw bale greenhouse
An alternative or natural building involves a range of building systems and materials that place major emphasis on sustainability. Ways of achieving sustainability through natural building focus on durability and the use of minimally processed, plentiful or renewable resources, as well as those that, while recycled or salvaged, produce healthy living environments and maintain indoor air quality. Natural building tends to rely on human labor, more than technology. As Michael G. Smith observes, it depends on "local ecology, geology and climate; on the character of the particular building site, and on the needs and personalities of the builders and users."

The basis of natural building is the need to lessen the environmental impact of buildings and other supporting systems, without sacrificing comfort, health or aesthetics. To be more sustainable, natural building uses primarily abundantly available, renewable, reused or recycled materials. The use of rapidly renewable materials is increasingly a focus. In addition to relying on natural building materials, the emphasis on the architectural design is heightened. The orientation of a building, the utilization of local climate and site conditions, the emphasis on natural ventilation through design, fundamentally lessen operational costs and positively impact the environmental. Building compactly and minimizing the ecological footprint is common, as are on-site handling of energy acquisition, on-site water capture, alternate sewage treatment and water reuse.

edit  watch  

Selected page

Bathroom Toilet Unit
Bathroom Toilet Unit. Why? This is about the construction of Bathroom Toilet units affordably. It aims at improving sanitation in rural settings. This method is meant to be used in a communal project where inhabitants of a village can be motivated to build a private bathroom for every family around. To achieve this each family works on its own bathroom facility concurrently while sharing experience and guidance. A special construction method is used to permit this.

How? Properties of the Bathroom Toilet-unit:

  1. A comfortable space for bathing, also to be used for sanitation, nice looking, decorated, easy to clean.
  2. Sufficient space for a parent to bath a small child and to teach it the proper use of a toilet.
  3. Waste water from bathing rinses urine away, minimizing stink and use of flush water.
  4. The bathroom/toilet unit can be configured as a composting toilet or to dry-fill a dug out, the choise is left to the future users and will be based on the way how users look at sanitation.
  5. The cost of the bathroom/toilet unit is only the cost of one bag of cement.
  6. MOST IMPORTANT, the method of construction is adjusted to a communal project.
  7. MOST IMPORTANT, with the one wooden model of the slab all the cast forms for all the families around can be made within a few weeks.
  8. When ALL the families in a neighbourhood use their own toilet this results in far less illness, especially for children.
  9. How to instruct the populace on how and why the new bathroom facilities should be used?
edit  watch  

Things you can do

edit  watch  

Selected topics (Book)

Project articles: Bloomfield Cobb Bench · Blue ox earthen oven · CCAT's living roof · CCAT Natural Paint Project · CCAT's Vermicomposting Bin · DIF Adobe Senior Center · Garden house cob oven · Kiva’s straw bale greenhouse · Recycling agricultural wastes to produce hot water (original) · Sunny Brae Yurt · Sustainably built cottage (original) · Tire shingles

Other articles: Bathroom Toilet Unit · Building with Pumice · Clay Brick and Tile Moulding Equipment · Concrete Block Producing Equipment · Construction techniques · Cooling · Cooling Homes in the Hot, Humid Tropics · Cordwood construction · Ferrocement Applications in Developing Countries · Greenmanure · Humus · Harvesting sheet metal · Heating · Humanure or reutilizing your own body wastes · Mastic · Monolithic Domes · Other manures · Pallet home · Quake Safe · Rice Hulls in Construction · Small Scale Production of Lime for Building · Structural Insulated Panels · Systems construction · Tetrapak roofing · Weld wood

Appropriate technology · Built environment · Business · Construction and materials · Culture and community · Design · Energy · Energy storage · Engineering for Sustainable Development · Food and agriculture · Government supported development programs · Governments and sustainability · Green living · Greywater · Health and safety · Heat exchangers · Hybrid power systems · ICT and Education · Information technology · Learning · Medical Devices · Net Impact · Permaculture · Photovoltaics · Projects · Rainwater harvesting · Renewable energy · Service learning · Solar · Solar thermal · Sustainability · Sustainable business · Sustainable city living · Sustainable energy storage · Sustainable farm energy alternatives · Transport · Water Agricultural