Category: Building

The Art and Practice of Tadelakt

The art of Tadelakt has for centuries been steeped in mystic and wonder. Few who leave the fantastic halls of the Marrakesh palaces or the beautifully reconstructed Riads will fail to notice the glimmering monolithic plaster that twinkles in the light as it seamlessly extends over these proud buildings. Tadelakt is a plaster finishing technique historically used in north Africa to protect earthen structures. It is specifically valued for its […]

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SMART Permaculture in South Ethiopia (Part 2)

This will all make a lot more sense if you’ve read part 1 of this article. But anyway, to cut a long story short, it is about designing a PC demo site and training centre in a little market town called Bonosha, in the south Ethiopian ethnic zone of Hadiya. This is to be the nerve centre of a network of solar-powered community-serving water, WASH and Permaculture projects spanning the […]

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SMART Permaculture in South Ethiopia (Part 1)

A few years back I got an email from a German guy called Oliver Kopsch. He works setting up water and sustainable energy projects in developing countries around the world. He had set up such a project in south Ethiopia – a water-well with solar powered pump to distribute water to the local rural community. Now he was expanding on his concept to include two new features; WASH (Water, Sanitation […]

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The $500 Cob House

Fancy a custom built $500 cob house? It’s cheaper than paying rent. Check out Geoff Lawton’s next video, where he investigates an innovative collection of houses built on Warren Brush’s Quail Springs Permaculture Farm in California. These beautifully constructed 96 foot square, one bedroom homes, were a delight to visit. They cost around $500 to construct for the free standing single bedroom homes with most of the labour being donated […]

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Permaculture for Pastoralists in the Jordan Valley – Part II

Note: If you haven’t already, you can read Part I here. A Dead Sea Valley family home with their typical front ‘lawn’. Photo © Craig Mackintosh The title may lead you to think we are talking about people who manage pasture or have access to wide areas of rangeland. In fact, we are talking about people whose parents and grandparents were nomadic pastoralists that ranged flocks of animals across vast […]

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A No-Straw Clay Pizza Oven

The inaugural use of the clay oven If you are into permaculture, eco-construction and/or just cool garden projects, then building your own pizza oven has undoubtedly made a blip on the radar at some point. For me, I first encountered them on Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua, where it seemed every other hostel, hotel or farm was hosting a weekly pizza night. I was volunteering at a small permaculture project […]

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Construction of Holzmiete-Inspired Compost Toilet and Urinal System (Tasmania, Australia)

by Paul Kean, Tiger Hill Permaculture Last year some trees were cleared for milling on the farm and a by-product of that process was the tree crowns and stumps that can’t be milled. There is estimated to be about 200 ton of stumps and crowns to be cut up for firewood as a result. This ensures that all resources from the project stay on the site and less need to […]

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Composting Toilets Made From Wheelie Bins

I just read a post on composting toilets here on the PRI site and remembered that I never posted about the composting toilets I made last year (for various projects) based on a similar principles, but a distinct design. Below I offer a few words of introduction and then post photos of the building process with instructions. As part of various projects that I’ve helped organise over the last six […]

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Vertical Farming: Singapore’s Solution to Feed the Local Urban Population

Sky Greens’ vertical farm Introduction The wealthy island city of Singapore with an area of 710 square km and a population of 5 million, is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. With most parts of the island’s land utilized for urban development, the remaining 250 acres of farmland is hardly sufficient to feed the growing population. As a consequence, more than 90 percent of Singapore’s food […]

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Land and Freedom – Low-Impact Building in the “Other” Spain

The tsunami of construction that washed over Spain in the decade of the 2000s has drawn back, leaving behind some very odd jetsam. Unused airports, white elephant projects like the City of the Arts and Sciences in Valencia, uninhabited housing developments in the middle of nowhere — and massive debts, public and private. But nearly all that concrete has been poured into a few places: around the main cities, the […]

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