I recently received an e-mail from Oliver Swann, creator of naturalhomes.org regarding the cob houses I have been writing about and reviewing. He offered his natural homes map (iFrame code and all) for me to post and share similar houses with my readers. Of course, I was intrigued so I asked him to elaborate on how he started naturalhomes.org- what it's about and why natural homes inspire him. G: Where did your interest in natural homes begins?O: My interest began when I moved from the UK to live in Norway where houses are generally much better designed, warmer and smaller than the houses in the UK. Friends there gave me a book about earthships which I read and loved but soon realised there were many other eco-house building methods to explore.
G: Why did you want to start naturalhomes.org?
O: There were several reasons to start naturalhomes, the main ones were:
I wanted to make information about natural building more mainstream and accessible, more magazine like but without moving it too much from the roots of where I started to learn myself. I've been on lots of builds, volunteering to help others build their houses, but never meeting any 'mainstream' type people. Obviously they weren't finding out about natural building, hence naturalhomes.org
I want to develop an audience for naturalhomes.org so I can profile natural builders and help support their efforts to teach new people. That's why I developed the map so that it was easy for people to browse the World and see just how beautiful and affordable natural houses can be. To reach a wider audience I made the map available to any blogger or website. The iFrame code is available here http://naturalhomes.org/
My own project is in Poland where I hope to create a small eco-village. I'll post details on naturalhomes.org nearer the time but if anyone wants to contact me about contributing they are welcome to write to firstname.lastname@example.org. This year we are running courses on the land with earthhandsandhouses.org
G: To conclude, I have to say that naturalhomes.org is a fantastic resource that I have been waiting find. I've posted here previously about cob houses around the world, but really struggled for content and it didn't seem accessible. Oliver's site is comprehensive including maps, links and photos of natural homes and eco-villages around the world, plus it's filled with a myriad of natural home resources. As Oliver mentioned, for any questions or a natural home you want to feature, e-mail him at email@example.com and you can also find him on Twitter, @naturalhomes.
This is one of Oliver's (many) maps featuring natural homes around the United States--fantastic, click through to find out more: