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GBlist: Re: greenbuilding-digest V1 #228

>Date: Sun, 13 Apr 97 20:30:37 -0700
>From: Bruce Sullivan <sullivan@crest.org>
>Subject: Re: GBlist: Earthships, straw-bale const, etc
>The following posting is from Richard Kadulski by way of co-moderator
>Bruce Sullivan:
>I've been following the discussion about these alternative construction
>approaches with interest. As has been pointed out, by Marc and Mike
>O'Brien, you have to look at what is apropriate to the location, climate,
>etc. However, what most bothers me in this discussion, and some of the
>other alternative construction techniques - is that these are inherently
>a rural or at the least very low density suburban-property building

>How many earthships or strawbale houses are built within walking distance
>of corner stores, schools, and many job opportunities? I can't seen this
>as something that you could fit on a 25 or 30 foot city lot.

You address an important issue in regards to suburban development.
However, I believe there are many examples of successful projects utilizing
alternative building methods in places other than suburban and rural
environments.  Here in Missoula, MT we are partnering with another local
non-profit to develop two houses on a lot which is 55' by 135'.  Though the
population of Missoula is only 50,000 it does have an urban center. We are
using strawbale construction for the first floor, incorporating salvaged
materials from structures removed from the site, as well as other resource
efficient materials, and using volunteer labor to keep the cost down on
these two 1000 s.f. homes.  The land they are on will be held in a land
trust.  These houses are 10 minutes by foot to downtown three blocks from a
school and within easy walking distance of downtown retail.  I'm sure there
are other positive examples of this kind of alternative urban infill which
we could all learn from.


Dale McCormick,
Technical Director

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