10 amazing buildings made of dirt and straw

The Three Little Pigs have nothing on these digs. Ancient technique and modern groove set these structures apart from the little hillside boxes filling our neighborhoods. There are no cookie-cutter house plans here. Just clean, green, natural buildings smoothed from dirt, straw, clay, and loads of ingenuity. No Big Bad Wolf will blow these down.

1. Hollyhock house mimicks Devon UK styles, on Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Cob, as this style of construction is known, has been used by crafty home-builders as far back as the 11th century. Evidence of these ultra-stable, fire-resistant structures has been found in North Africa, the Middle East, and, most commonly, Devon, Wales, and Cornwall in the United Kingdom. Earthen home-building gained resurgence in the late 1990's, in England and Ireland, and has become all the rage in Canada's British Columbia, displayed in exhibitions and neighborhood streets alike.

2. Won't have to worry about tracking dirt into this Baja Mexico lounge. It's there on purpose.
A 2007 family home, measuring 2,150 ft2, fitted with solar power and sub-floor heating ran a mere $210,000 CAD (112,000 GBP), making cob construction one of the most economical means of home-building, in addition to being among the most ethical. Impressive stats in these wild economic times, and positioning this rustic style of design at the forefront of charitable efforts to house the poor.
3. Smooth and groovy, a micro-house on display at Stanley Park, British Columbia.
Perhaps these Hobbit-esque homes are the wave of the future. Customizable and conservation-minded, earthen materials are the few things this planet has, in spades.

4. Natural minimalism at it's best in a green-built family home.

5. Just look for Wilma Flintstone scrubbing up in this South African kitchen.
6. A wood-stove cobworks kitchen pays homage to pioneer days, with a modern flare.

7. Praise the lord and pass the bong in this righteous meditation circle.

8. It seems awfully easy to be green if you have digs like this house on Mayne Island, Canada.
9. Country corn-cob motif seems somehow appropriate on this little cob-built tool shed.
10. There is no limit to the shapes and functionalities of cob house design.

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