what is natural building?
To us natural/sustainable building means using readily available, local, natural materials with little embodied energy and salvaged materials to make your own home. This can mean using adobe (sundried mud bricks), straw, strawbale, clay, cob, bamboo (an easily regenerated wood source), stone and secondhand/salvaged materials you have access to. Natural building techniques are ancient and time tested and have housed much of the population of the world. We use these traditional techniques with experiments and innovations people are discovering today to make them a practical alternative for modern days to the resource intensive conventional building done today. We at Pun Pun focus on building primarily with adobe, bamboo, straw, and clay.
why natural building?
We got interested in natural building for these main reasons. It’s cheap. It’s easy. You can do it yourself. It’s sustainable. It’s beautiful. And it makes a great place to live in, both aesthetically and climatically. For our climate, living in an earthen homes meaning cutting down on the amount of resources needed to cool and heat your home as it regulates itself. If designed properly and maintained, it can feel like walking into air conditioning in the summer during the middle of the day without any help from electricity. Anyone can build their own home using local resources. We started working with villager groups, farmers, schools, temples, women’s groups, etc teaching and setting up workshops so they could learn to build their own homes. If you have land like most farmers in Thailand do, you don’t need to spend any money or little at all to build your own home if you do it yourself and use what materials you have onsite. This empowers people to be able to provide for one of the main basic needs, shelter. It is an easy way to build, not requiring specialists or specific materials so anyone can do it. We know 12 year old kids and 60 year old women who have built their own structures entirely by themselves. And natural building drastically decreases our carbon footprint on the earth by reducing the amount of industrialized materials used with high embodied energy.