Helpful Resources

These are some helpful resources recommended to you by the POOSH team.  We will soon be launching a new verison of this page, which will allow you to upload and vote on other users´resources as well.  That way the resource page is completely community-built.  But in the meantime, check out what the POOSH Team finds helpful. 

Alternative Building AssociationNot the prettiest website, but it is surely packed with some serious information.  Get your fill here with the historical context of different building methods, technical specs, and building code compliance information.  Great place to go if you have a pretty good idea of what building methods you want to use, and just need the icing on the cake!  - Recommended by Eric


Living Building Challenge - A quideline on sustainable building practices, very similar to LEED certification, but a bit more rigorous.  Look through the giant PDF document entitled "the Standard 2.1" for some great ideas on how to build sustainably - Recommended by Eric


 The Cob Builders Handbook, by Becky Bee - This book is a very helpful guide to get started building with cob, and covering everything from roofs and floors and more. It may seem a little cheesy at times, but I think Becky Bee has one of the best attitudes for respecting the space we want to create while respecting the world we live in.  - Recommended by April


The Rebuilding CenterSo this organization is pretty amazing.  It is a nonprofit, which goes into buildings before they are demolished and they take out any salvageable material.  You as a builder can then go to their warehouse and purchase these slightly used materials for real cheap!  I decided to link this one, knowing most of you are not located in Oregon, USA, but this could be inspiration to get a rebuilding center started in your own community! - Recommended by Eric


Lloyd Kahn´s BlogFrequent blog posts from one of natural building’s heroes!  Everything from surfing to tiny homes.  Read what the man who did massive amounts to expose natural building has to say. - Recommended by Michael 


Community RepaintAnother great nonprofit organization capitalizing on a waste stream.  They collect unused paint, and give it out to builders in need.  Might not be the most environmentally-friendly paint, but give it a check out.  Great reminder of all the waste streams the current building methods create.  - Recommended by Eric


Low Impact Livings´s guide to SheltersSome more simply amazing collection of resources about sustainable building.  Everything you need to know, from biogas to retrofitting your house.  This organization is also worth a check out. - Recommended by Eric


Natural Building BlogGreat blog highlighting new and useful topics that surround natural building.  Need inspiration?  Check out these guys! - Recommended by Eric


Introduction to 10 Widely Used Sustainable Building MaterialsDon´t know where to start?  Not sure what cob is?  Somehow found yourself on through a series of links you don´t remember and are now confused?  This is the resource for you!  Get introduced to and entertained by different natural building materials. - Recommended by Eric


Sustainable Building & Living InformationA very comprehensive resource for everything sustainable/natural building!  Not the most pretty website, but it is packed with information!  Goes way beyond just building your house, and covers how to live more sustainably as well. - Recommended by Eric


How to Lower CO2 in the Construction Industry (only for our Estonian speaking friends) - What really is sustainable building or ökoehitus? (as we say in Estonian) This essay by Tanel Esperk explains the core principles of sustainable building, visits different case studies from around the world and examines how to lower CO2 emissions in the construction industry. - Recommended by Maarja

Keskkonnasõbralik ehitus ja ehitusmaterjalide primaarenergiasisalduse ning tootmisel tekkiva CO2 võrdlus kahe välisseinakonstruktsiooni näitel.


Complete Strawbale Building Guide(Pdf) - Want to build a house out of straw bales?  Want an 80 page document outlining everything you need?  Clear and straightforward manual for self-builders. The language and descriptions are quite basic to ensure full understanding by everyone. 2001 edition. Free to download - Recommended by Eric


Dealing with Human Waste ( - Sewage Solutions - Answering the call of nature. Nick Grant, Mark Moodie & Chris Weedon. Centre for Alternative Technology Publications (CAT) Third Edition, 1996.

Incredibly empowering book which details, in a language I found both welcoming and informative, all that is required for me to understand and manage an existing sewage system. In addition, I gained a broad and new understanding of suitable sewage options, including those a little more wild and alternative, which had attracted me to living off-grid in the first place! - Recommended by Jim - This is the 'resource' where we received sound advice regarding converting a diesel engine to run using veggie oil. Components and full kits can also be purchased which are of excellent quality and competitive value. Consider using waste veggie oil (WVO) in generators and construction machinery- contact Fran at and reference


Natural Building and Living ArticlesA do it yourselfer who shares and blogs his experiences trying new building methods. Gives good information on what he did, what he should’ve done and what he wouldn’t do again. He has innovative projects that are well thought out and gives great examples of how you can also undertake similar projects. - Recommended by Loren

Passive Design overview - This is a concise, informative document summarizing passive design concept. Passive design theory is essential to building a sustainable home! Recommended by Michael.

Homesteading E-book collection - "Here’s a small sampling of USDA publications from the 1930s through the 1960s. These old works do not show the latest and best methods, but they are still valuable for ideas.” Recommended by Michael