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 The Last Straw -
 The International  Journal of Straw  Bale and Natural  Building

- Promoting natural building, and sustainable design and development, through research, training, education and consulting services.

Zero Energy Housing

Summary Phase I:
As part of the ongoing zero-energy housing research at the Geiger Research Institute, the main goal of Phase I is to introduce the primary strategies, and provide links to general guidelines and key principles that can be applied to a wide variety of house designs. Phase II will provide a finished house design that incorporates these concepts.

Zero-energy Housing Strategies:
1. Build small
2. Efficient use of space
3. Low-embodied energy building materials (primarily locally available, natural materials)
4. Superinsulation
5. Balance of mass and insulation
6. Multiple use features (serve more than one purpose)
7. Lifestyle change of inhabitants
8. Maximum solar design
9. Appropriate technology
10. Energy-efficient appliances and fixtures
11. Energy and resource-efficient shape
12. Safe and healthy design

Strawbale construction:

Strawbale construction comes of age:

Strawbale FAQ:

Embedded energy in strawbale housing:

Potential savings from alternative building methods:

Traditional building: Shelter Sketchbook by John Taylor

Vernacular architecture: Built by Hand by Bill and Athena Steen, and Eiko Komats

Energy-efficiency upgrades:

Shallow frost-protected foundations:

Earthbag construction:

Small diameter wood:

Rice hulls for ceiling insulation:

Earth-cooled pantry: coming soon

Tractor cob:

Tamped earth floors:

Earthen plaster:

Solar water heaters: Fireball lightweight solar collectors

Solar heating: Directions on how to build your own solar heating panel

Solar wall ovens:

Passive solar design:,,,

Small-scale wind generators:,

Improved Cookstoves CD on cookstoves, ovens and rocket stoves

Rocket Stoves:

Crestone, Colorado 81131 Email: Contact Information