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The EcoNest Home
Designing and Building a Light Straw Clay House
“Every aspect of creating a beautiful, sensible, and healthy home is explored and demonstrated with elegance and clarity.” —Martin Hammer, architect, co-director, Builders Without Borders
An EcoNest is not just a home—it is a breathtakingly beautiful structure that nurtures health and embraces ecology. This unique approach to construction combines light straw clay, timber framing, earthen floors, natural plasters, and other natural techniques with the principles of Building Biology to create a handcrafted living sanctuary. By bringing together time-honored traditions and modern innovations, owners of EcoNests enjoy living spaces that reflect the best of both worlds.
The EcoNest Home is an in-depth exploration of the benefits of choosing this technique over conventional alternatives, combined with a complete practical guide for prospective designers and builders. Authors Paula Baker-Laporte and Robert Laporte draw on their own extensive experience to provide:
- A detailed explanation of the nature-based science behind EcoNests
- Fully-illustrated, step-by-step instructions to guide you through construction
- Dozens of inspiring photos of completed projects
The most comprehensive, North American resource on light straw clay construction, written by its leading proponents, The EcoNest Home is a must-read for anyone considering building their own healthy, affordable, environmentally friendly, natural home.
“A great new book for the ecological designer, builder and homeowner.” —Sukita Ray Crimmel, coauthor of Earthen Floors
“The EcoNest Home is made from well designed, sophisticated techniques rooted in simplicity. This book demonstrates the outstanding results that arise to their steadfast commitment to creating healthy, natural homes.” —Adam Weismann and Katy Bryce, authors of Using Natural Finishes
Paula Baker-Laporte is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and is considered one of the leading proponents of healthy building in North America. After struggling with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and regaining her own health, she became deeply interested in creating the most health-enhancing built environments possible, eventually turning to the European-based study of Bau-biologie or Building Biology. Together with Robert Laporte, Paula created the EcoNest concept and she has worked as the architect for the EcoNest Company for nearly 2 decades. She is the author of Prescriptions for a Healthy House and the co-author of Econest: Creating Sustainable Sanctuaries of Clay, Straw and Timber.
Robert Laporte introduced light straw clay construction to North America, combining it with a family of other hand-crafted techniques including traditional timber framing, earthen floors, and natural plasters to create a holistic natural building system. He has built over 50 houses using this system, in climates ranging from the arid deserts of New Mexico to the frigid cold of Manitoba. Together with Paula Baker-Laporte, Robert created the EcoNest concept and has trained hundreds of professional builders and aspiring owner-builders in using the techniques. He is the co-author of Econest: Creating Sustainable Sanctuaries of Clay, Straw and Timber.
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