EcoNest: Clay, Straw and Timber Houses

Timberframer Robert Laporte and Architect Paula Baker-Laporte have been building EcoNests since 1994 and are beloved in Natural House and Inspired House magazines. They design, build, teach and write about how a house "should be a sanctuary that nurtures body, mind, and spirit."..."Health, ecology, and sustainability begin at home in an EcoNest. These elegant hand crafted homes utilize natural building techniques including: timber framing, clay/straw walls, earth plastering, and natural, non-toxic finishes throughout."

The houses, books and website are all warm, touchy-feely and beige, and of a style that I have avoided writing about. Yet the more time I spend looking at these things, the more I am impressed by "A good hat and a good pair of boots", "Natural energy efficient for low tech heating and cooling comfort" and "A healthy house for your family."About healthy house construction, they say "Unfortunately even a natural home will not necessarily be a healthy one. Building for health is still a pioneering proposition and there are a myriad of things to consider and do differently from the pouring of the foundation to the daily maintenance after you move in. For example, there are concrete additives to avoid, formaldehyde free cabinets and roof insulation to special order, water filtration strategies to analyze, solvent free adhesives and special cleaning products to track down."

They also know how to build small- The Little Residence is named after the owners (yoga instructors) , not its size, but at 1320 square feet includes a large kitchen for Macrobiotic cooking classes, a yoga/meditation room, tatami bedroom, and covered porch for outdoor practice and meditation, all in a light, airy Japanese-influenced style. ::EcoNest via ::Future House Now

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