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FREE Straw Bale Emergency Shelter Plans

Builders Without Borders Straw-Bale Construction Guides

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.
Over one billion people lack decent shelter, according to the United Nations. As our forests and other natural resources are rapidly depleted, and as global warming worsens, our mission becomes more evident and even more pressing.

The Geiger Research Institute of Sustainable Building is devoted to finding solutions to the world’s housing problems. We believe the answer lies in education – helping others help themselves.

Please join us in our efforts to create a more just, sustainable world. “If everyone makes a difference, the world will be different.”

Kelly and Rosana Hart’s house, viewable at, is an excellent example of sustainable building that features the use of local and recycled materials, an earth-bermed pantry and solar design.

What’s New
The Ecological Building Network have completed a fire test that should help mainstream strawbale construction.

The New Mexico building codes for straw-clay, compressed earth block and adobe have been added to our Publications page, along with the new ICC bamboo codes.

Free emergency shelter plans have been developed to meet the housing crisis in Pakistan: Shelter Plans, Earthbag Dome Building. More information is posted on our November 5 blog.

Dr. Owen Geiger, the Director of the Geiger Research Institute of Sustainable Building, unveiled the first comprehensive plan to eliminate poverty housing at two recent events. Contact us if you are interested in future presentations.

A tsunami relief housing design is under development. There are openings on the design team for a few more specialists. Dr. Lisa Wipplinger of the US Military Academy is collaborating on the project. Click here to read the preliminary report.

To learn more, click on What’s New.

Natural building workshops at the Geiger Research Institute are designed for natural builders, architects, educators, designers and anyone interested in building low-tech, affordable housing. Although everyone’s skill level will vary, these workshops are excellent for gaining practical experience in each aspect of natural building.

No new workshops are planned for 2006. Instead, our focus is on providing online training to reach students world-wide. See Straw-Bale Certification and Training.

Go to Workshops for more details.

Straw-Bale Construction Certification
Become a certified builder in straw-bale construction with training from the Geiger Research Institute. This distance learning program enables students to obtain certification entirely over the Internet by combining hands-on experiences with assignments from books, videos and other resources. To learn more, click on Straw-Bale Certification.

A shorter straw-bale construction training course is now available. See our Training page.

House Plans
Download low-cost, sustainable house plans directly from the Internet. This section is currently under development, with additional plans coming soon. Click here to view the House Plans.

Sustainable Building Electronic Directory
This section has links to hundreds of free sustainable building articles on the Internet. If you have a recommended article, please let us know so we can expand this section in the future. This directory now features a search engine. To view these articles, visit the Sustainable Building Electronic Directory.

Consulting services are available for medium and large-scale affordable, sustainable housing projects. Native American projects and international projects with collaborating NGOs, in particular, are invited. Click here for more information.
Crestone, Colorado 81131 Email: Contact Information

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