Those of us who have lived reasonably self-sufficiently and who have built our own spaces know the provenance of everything that is included in the build.
For this straw bale sleepout, we used second hand hardwood power poles bought at a local auction, untreated douglas fir and macrocarpa timber grown and milled locally, straw bales from Canterbury which were left over from another build project and so on….. But surely it’s not just the domain and privilege of owner builders on lifestyle blocks to be able to do this?
Organising a conference is a lot of work, as those who have done it will know. Every now and then, when the to-do list gets too daunting, it’s good to stop and remind yourself of why you are doing it. Being next in line to write a blog seems like a good opportunity to do this!
So why is it important to focus energy and thinking on Natural Building?
I’m not going to harp on about what is wrong with the way our collective built environment is made, I just want to see change. I want to see more people living and working in healthy buildings within healthy ecosystems. Natural Building has a huge part to play in achieving this.
I want to see Natural Building come into the mainstream.
Imagine a world...
... where building supply merchants sold earth bricks and plasters, straw bales, and untreated timbers as a matter of course.
... where young architects and builders learned about using appropriate building materials as a core part of their training.
... where Territorial Authorities regarded consent applications for buildings using other than standard timber framing as normal.
... where everyone involved in a building project from the owner to the designer to the consenting authorities to those putting it together really considered the appropriateness of their design and material choices, and the impact these decisions would have on the world around them.