April 11, 2022, 6:28 p.m.
Aotearoa is facing a serious resource and housing shortage, as well as the early effects of climate change. Earth houses are becoming a more preferable option that allows affordability and readily utilises natural resources within the build process.
Reuben Douglas, a former construction supervisor, is leading the natural earth construction in Waipapakauri.
“I’ve had about a decade of experience building standard homes, using levels and straight lines and timber. It was a little disillusioning when you go to a construction site and there’s so much waste. Everything is toxic. I thought why don't we build an earth house.”
Alongside his friend Eddie Chambers, and a team of volunteers, the roopu began constructing an earth house to call home, whilst teaching others how to do the same during the process. Natural earth building could be a new, affordable outlet for whānau without homes. Eddie Chambers (Natural Building Co) can see it is a new craft that could be widely available around Aotearoa.
“The material shortage that we are currently struggling with, just gives a perfect window, for us to look at alternative methods and just really push forward the agenda of climate action" said Douglas.