Alternative Building Methods for Eco-housing

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With so much junk to deal with and so many homeless people around the world, eco-housing has become the need of the hour. Here are some alternative building methods which are foundations for various eco-housing projects around the world.

1.  Earthship Home

Earthship Home

Earthship home is one of the pioneers in the subject of alternative building methods. Currently they have come up with a new way of building homes with used material such as tires. The tires are very strong and durable. In addition the thick walls act as thermal masses. The interiors of the tires are filled with earth making the structure highly durable.

2.  Cord Wood

Cord Wood

Cord wood is another option in alternative building materials. It is made out of scraps of wood cut into short bits, stacked and inter laced with concrete. The home thus constructed is very durable, insulated and also clocks very low on maintenance.

3.  Straw Bales

Straw Bales

Another very good source of insulating material is straw bales. When bound together by wires, they make good construction material as thick walls. Coating it with plaster or stucco can make it waterproof and also conceal the straw.

4.  Cob

Cob

Cob is an ancient material used for building homes. A mixture of clay, sand, earth and water pressed together to form cobs. These cobs are then into thick curved walls to make eco-friendly dwellings.

5.  Rammed Earth Constructions

Rammed Earth Constructions

Rammed earth constructions are another way of making strong and durable homes. The material is made by pressing dirt to form thick walls and then smoothening out the surface to give a more aesthetic look. The Great Wall of China is a good example of rammed earth construction.

6.  Papercrete

Papercrete

Papercrete is the name given to a combination of paper, water and cement which is a cheaper and lighter alternative to the standard Portland cement. This is a great way of replacing cement with eco-friendly material.

7.  Geodesic Homes

Geodesic Homes

Geodesic homes are the newest in eco-friendly renewable-energy based homes.  These dome houses have a minimal surface area and hence more energy efficient. These homes use the chimney effect to create natural air-flow circulation, an efficient way of ventilating the house.

8.  Earth Bag Homes

Earth Bag Homes

Earth bags are another eco-friendly option for homes. Here, the walls are made from bags filled with earth (dirt) and then stacking them like bricks with barbed wire running in between. They are so strong that they resist natural disasters and accidents. Normally used by army as bunkers, they serve to save the lives of our soldiers in times of attacks.

9.  Underground

Underground

Underground dwellings have been used in the ancient past as protection from natural elements such as harsh climate and weather conditions. Many reservation areas even to this day use such homes to protect themselves in eco-friendly ways.

10.  Shipping Containers

Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are great construction materials that serve to recycle waste and save our environment. These are the latest in affordable housing and many housing ventures have come out with pre-fabricated homes made out of old shipping containers, which can be assembled onsite without much use of labor and time. These homes are not only affordable but also come in a number of trendy configurations.

Photo Credit: (http://homerenovations.about.com)

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