Caicos Middle Caicos
Dream TCI, BWI

Building Our Dream

Soon after I discovered Middle Caicos on the internet, I also discovered the Natural Building movement. I was seeking an affordable means of building an island home for our family. As a bonus, I found a philosophy that also promises to recognize and preserve the natural beauty that attracted us to the island.

In short, Natural Building utilizes building materials and construction techniques that minimize impact on the environment, both locally and elsewhere. It depends heavily on local and recycled materials. It also considers the lifetime costs of the building; energy, water and food production are all considered in the design.

To learn more, I took a short course in Sustainable Building Practices at Colorado State University. In a more practical vein, I also attended the 1999 Colorado Natural Building Workshop in Rico, Colorado. I was a little skeptical that I could learn something at 9000 feet in the Rocky Mountains that would work at sea level in the Tropics. Boy, was I wrong. I came home full of ideas.

Most of the pictures on the following pictures are from CNBW. They can only hint at the variety of ideas being developed in Natural Building.

At The Workshop
CNBW was held June 24-28, 1999 at Sundial Village in Rico, high in the mountains of Southwest Colorado.
Earth Bag
Misprinted feed bags filled with local soil. This method has already been put to use in the Bahamas.
Made famous by actor Dennis Weaver, the walls of these homes are built from tires and aluminum cans.
Rammed Earth
Built using forms like concrete but, instead of cement, a good pounding holds the materials together.
Handmade from mud and clay. This technique lends itself to free-form sculpturing.
Straw Bale
A readily available agricultural by-product that provides plenty of insulation.
Natural Timber
Wood used in a very unconventional way. Where the ordinary 2x4 is selected for straightness, these timbers are chosen for other reasons.

The background for these pages is a close-up of the exterior wall of the Casita at Sundial. The Casita is a straw bale home with natural earth plasters. See the Casita on the Straw Bale page.
[ Home ] : CaicosDream

Mike Ramsey
Tue Aug 03,1999