Earthen Floors, a book all about installing and living with earth-based floor systems, is due out April 1, 2014. The first of its kind dedicated solely to the art of making inexpensive, durable, and beautiful floors made mostly of sand, clay, and fiber. There are a host of books that touch upon the topic of floors, but few that delve very deeply into the nitty gritty details. This will be a welcome addition to the natural building library.
Here's another inspiring earthbag construction for fans of natural homes out there! The Shantikuthi Earthbag Spiral House is called such because its walls were built in a spiral pattern. Its roof also has a spiral garden where visitors can harvest seeds to bring home and plant in their own yard. Learn more about it and view the slideshow of the building process on our site! :)
Another ancient material, wattle and daub is essentially the first drywall; drywall was made to replace plastered wood lath (thin strips of wood nailed to framing). Before there was wood lath over stick framing, people made walls of woven sticks, reeds, or other similar material — the 'wattle' — and plastered it with clay or manure plasters — 'the daub'. Not structural, this is generally an infill wall panel technique. Not very insulating, not for exterior use. But lightweight, and cheap.