building with reclaimed materials
This 19th-century Creole cottage was disassembled, moved and meticulously reassembled and restored on a new site in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Built for its climate, the welcoming home is an excellent example of passive cooling and material reuse.
Sayra and Dominic live with their 5-year-old daughter in a charming 550-square-foot home in rural Idaho. There are challenges, but they've found that less really is more. 'It's like living in a fun clubhouse,' Sayra says.
Deconstruction, breaking down houses bit-by-bit, is a great way to find free building materials to build small low-cost homes.
Built from a recycled shipping container, the 160-square-foot Surfshack uses folding, moveable panels and smart design to fit all the creature comforts of home into a durable, weather-proof frame, creating a home-away-from-home on the Washington coast for an avid surfer.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares how she built her home's front porch from salvaged wood—and how she finds beauty in flawed materials.
Jessica features Dan Phillips, Phoenix Commotion founder and builder of fascinating houses built with reclaimed materials, as the first in her Throwback Thursdays series.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers inspiration to anyone wanting to build their own home from salvaged materials.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson considers quality over quantity, slow homes and creating something beautiful.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares her plans for Blackbird Studio, a 333-square-foot she plans to build.
A lookout tower home featuring reclaimed materials connects its homeowner with her past, present and future.
Readers vote on which type of reclaimed material they'd be most interested in adding to their homes.
Made from natural minerals, sea salt, water, sand, recycled coal byproducts and natural fibers, CompoClay is a promising alternative to gypsum, engineered wood and resins.
Revive a feeling of ritual at your dinner table by summoning the family with a dinner gong made of reclaimed materials.
The shopping website Hipcycle offers beautiful upcycled products for your home and garden.
Tradical Hempcrete, a concrete-like substance made from hemp and lime, is used in two Asheville, North Carolina, homes.
EU's ban of five chemicals commonly used in building materials will 'shake up the industry,' Healthy Building Network official predicts.
Superior Walls foundations systems are resource efficient, using up to 70 percent less concrete in a new home than conventional foundations.
The Phoenix Commotion gives low-income people trade skills and shelter by teaching them to build their own homes--from garbage. You'd be amazed at what can be used to build a house when the desire and commitment exist.
Building a deck can be a challenge, but building with being “green” in mind can be an even bigger challenge. Learn what to look for and what questions and considerations to have when researching and selecting the best green building materials for a deck.
Elizabeth Richardson lays out her plan for building her own salvaged home.
Decorating with materials that would otherwise be considered junk can bring pops of life and color to your home’s style. Check out these bottle cap crafts for a fun way to decorate with junk!
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers advice on how to incorporate reclaimed materials into home design without the end result looking like "junk."
When it comes time to choose what decking material to use for your next outdoor living project, consider wood composite decks that save old growth trees by utilizing recycled content.
Salvaged products can be attractive components of a new home. Salvaged materials help save resources and money while adding distinctive features. One source of salvaged materials, Habitat Home Stores, also supports housing development for low-income families.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove recounts the unexpected expenses she faced while building her sustainable Tennessee farmhouse. Selove is building her green dream home to LEED Platinum standards.
Blogger Laurie Dickson is blogging from the Living Future "unconference" in Portland, Oregon, this weekend. Living Future is devoted to promoting innovative green design that focuses on real solutions for real planetary problems.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove explains why she and her husband, John, are aiming for LEED Platinum-certification for their rural Tennessee farmhouse.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove considers rainwater cistern options for harvesting rainwater at her sustainable Tennessee farmhouse that she is building to LEED standards.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove narrows down her choices of Energy Star-rated appliances for her LEED-certified home in Tennessee.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove explains why she chose Southern Forest Initiative-certified wood for the framing lumber of her sustainable Tennessee home that she is building to LEED Platinum standards.
Made from repurposed shipping containers and recycled steel, based on Prius engineering, with a gray water system and a living roof, this Mojave Desert residence and workplace is a prototype for low-cost prefab kit houses everywhere.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
With 65 properties in Oregon and Washington, McMenamins historic hotels are a must-see if you’re traveling to the Portland area.
Treat your building professional as you would want to be treated—and more great advice from contractors and designers who have seen it all.
The Living Building Challenge provides builders with information and a forum for sharing advice in an effort to promote the highest building standards.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses mandatory green building codes for all new commercial buildings nationwide.
Last weekend—the second anniversary of the tornado that destroyed the small town of Greensburg, Kansas—residents invited the public to see its progress toward becoming one of the first green towns in the United States. Greensburg homeowners and business owners have rebuilt much of the town with eco-friendly construction materials.
Robyn reflects on the past 10 years of Natural Home and the green building movement.
Jessica revisits Maison Madeleine, a beautifully restored historic Southern French cottage.
Reclaimed furniture can add a rustic yet elegant touch to your home. Find out why you should choose reclaimed over new and how to incorporate it in your home.
Expect to see more modular homes, a boom in the green remodeling business and a ton more “green” products when it comes to green building trends in 2010—and be prepared to ask a lot more questions.
The Boulder, Colorado, green-building program will get a makeover for its second year.
BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks forward to good, green building news for 2009.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
For the past year, I’ve been chronicling the progress of a green-built home here in Boulder, Colorado, where I live, via this blog and accompanying videos. Watching the project unfold has been enlightening for many reasons, not least of which is the opportunity to see firsthand many of the cool technologies we read about and hear about. Sometimes that entails a little sacrifice.
The International Green Construction Code, an International Code Council initiative, released its first set of green building standards today. Standard 189.1 addresses energy efficiency, site sustainability, materials and resources, and more.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence visits Canada's only straw bale winery, Orofino Vineyards.
Jeld-Wen's new Custom Wood line combines character with energy efficiency in windows and doors made from salvaged, reclaimed wood. It's the best of all possible worlds.
Writer Julia Normand reclaims the weathered wood doors from a Quonset hut on the edge of her Alaska homestead to decorate her living room wall and create a living history memorial to her husband’s family history in fishing.
The Windfall reclaimed wood engineered panels are Douglas Fir and Hemlock Fir raw material harvested from demolition sites in the Pacific Northwest, and given new life as decorative panels for interior design.
Consider the environment when choosing deck materials. Here’s a breakdown of your options.
Designer David Stark creates furniture and room accessories from discarded packing materials for West Elm’s newest store.
Keep warm with hand-knitted scarves, hats and hand warmers from Icebox Knitting’s two lines of products made from upcycled materials.
A California architect gives a 1920s cabin more space and better views--without disturbing the riparian area it sits on.
BuildingGreen’s 2010 Top 10 Green Building Products list includes a low-flow toilet, composite decking, a high-performing wall system and other products that conserve energy and resources.
Guest blogger Bill Hutchins explains why the first step in green building should be "don't build."
Guest blogger Bill Hutchins outlines ways to build green while keeping a light footprint on the earth.
These three great design blogs share inspiration to redecorate our homes on a budget—using rescued and reclaimed items.
Architect and land planner Helena van Vliet incorporates biophilic design principles into her renovated house to create a home connected to nature.
To build Finca Exotica, a sustainable resort on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, the owners took advantage of plentiful native bamboo, kept the footprint small and let buildings unfold organically.
Green builder Fred Koch explains his unique strategy for green building in southern California.
The USGBC’s “50 for 50” green schools initiative aims to create a green schools caucus in every state legislature.
Maintaining indoor air quality is important in a healthy home, but poor craftsmanship can lead to water damage and eventually mold issues.
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
Greg Franta’s work on climate change and the built environment, as reflected in his book Cooling the Warming, is at the core of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Reinventing Fire initiative.
One guest blogger recently discovered that you can make homemade terrariums from everyday household items already hanging around the house. Check it out now.
Getting into the garden for people with disabilities may require careful and creative planning and design to accomodate each person's unique physical needs. Providing safe access is important for physical well-being and enjoying gardening.
Pebbles, rocks and stones are beautiful, natural materials that add beauty and a very classic look to any style design.
Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson reviews First World Trash’s bags and purses made from recycled materials.
Consider these environment-friendly tips when remodeling your home.
When seeking out natural flooring materials such as hardwood, bamboo, cork and natural stone for your home, consider the pros and cons of each option.
Artist Boris Bally’s edgy, street-smart furniture is made from recycled street signs.
DIY inspiration comes from the most unlikely places, even discarded materials we consider trash. These projects show you how versatile plastic bottles can be.
Building a tiny home from an old camper trailer brought a sense of community when family and friends pitched in to help.
The U.S. Green Building Council may revise its LEED rating system standards, which currently award points only to Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood products.
The U.S. Green Building Council singles out the Forest Stewardship Council as the only trusted wood certifier.
DuPont Building Innovations has achieved zero landfill status by reducing, reusing and recycling manufacturing byproducts and waste at manufacturing sites globally.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove shares the lessons she learned building her now completed green home.
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley examines the Sprouting Building of Montpellier and its living green facade.
This is the first of a series of blogs about construction of a LEED Platinum-certified home on an organic farm in middle Tennessee.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove picks natural, native sandstone to use in her sustainable Tennessee farmhouse that she is building to LEED Platinum standards.
Stylish furniture typically doesn’t involve discarded trash—but the designs of Studio Jo Meesters do. Studio Jo Meesters introduces “Odds and Ends, Bits and Pieces,” a fun collection of furniture pieces made from recycled materials that contain just as much panache
The launch of Oakley’s first pair of eco-friendly shades keeps Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson on her search for sustainable sunglasses.
Natural Home guest blogger John Patrick explains why he and his wife, guest blogger Rebecca Selove, designed their sustainable Tennessee farmhouse for passive solar gain and a 5.17-kilowatt photovoltaic system. John and Rebecca are building their sustainable Tennessee farmhouse home to LEED Platinum standards.