My feeling is that the building codes are nothing more that a bunch of legalistic mumbo jumbo primarily intended to enhance the profits of the bloated and overpriced housing/construction industry. I also feel that it is a fundamental human right to have a place to live, a place that they can call home. Why does such a thing have to be so expensive? It makes no sense. Don't even get me started on the bloodsucking leeches called landlords who take unfair advantage of this basic human need. They sit on their asses and collect outrageous rents without producing anything. Oh, I know, they aren't all like that, but a good chunk of them are. Anyway, following are some links to information about how to break out of the above rat race and take control of your own shelter situation. Just beware of the building code BS that you are likely to run into.
This page deals with "Cob" construction, a centuries old earth building technique, using earth, sand, and straw. VERY interesting stuff for the DIYer, very organic looking, very comfortable looking. A feelgood kind of buildig method. Available is a book, The Cob Builder's Handbook, for $19.95 plus $4.00 S&H.
NATURAL BUILDING WEBSITE
Assorted links to natural building technology sites. The very first one is to COB COTTAGE another interesting Cob building site, they also offer a book.
STRAW BALE HOMES
Straw bale is really coming on strong, with lots of proponents out there, this is one of them. This page is currently under reconstruction, so may not be available.
Rammed earth is another very old earth building technique. In France it is called pise, and there are old buildings standing in that country that have been around for decades. In the US, during the fourties, it was used as a low-cost house building technique, and houses from that era are still standing. Basically, you dump earth with a certain moisture consistency into a form and pound the heck out of it until it is hard. Modern methods sometimes add a small percentage of portland cement. Homes are massive with walls 12"-14" thick, which absorb heat during the day and release it at night.
Earthships are a very interesting building technique using old tires to form rammed earth "bricks" to build earth sheltered houses.
I would like to have information in this section on a variety of "alternative" building techniques. If you have a link
you think should be on this page, please e-mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org.