Chelsea Green Publishing

The Rammed Earth House

eBook: 9781603581592
Pub. Date June 13, 2007

The Rammed Earth House

By David Easton
Photographs by Cynthia Wright

Building & Energy

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
June 13, 2007

$40.00 $32.00

The Rammed Earth House is an eye-opening example of how the most dramatic innovations in home design and construction frequently have their origins in the distant past. By rediscovering the most ancient of all building materials —earth—forward-thinking homebuilders can now create structures that set new standards for beauty, durability, and efficient use of natural resources.

Rammed earth construction is a step forward into a sustainable future, when homes will combine pleasing aesthetics and intense practicality with a powerful sense of place. Rammed earth homes are built entirely on-site, using basic elements—earth, water, and a little cement. The solid masonry walls permit design flexibility while providing year-round comfort and minimal use of energy. The builder and resident of a rammed earth house will experience the deep satisfaction of creating permanence in a world dominated by the disposable.


"David has always been a pioneer, and I'm particularly excited about his work bringing rammed earth as an appropriate technology to areas of the developing world. Guided by David's team, rural communities build structures far more permanent and energy efficient than any they had before."--Mike Korchinsky, Founder and CEO, Wildlife Works, Inc.

"I find great hope in David Easton's description of ways to meld the environmentally friendly with the aesthetically satisfying. And I find inspiration in his very practical advice on making these beautiful blends of earth and air a part of our lives. Architecture defines us, and helps us to find meaning in the very structures we call our homes. This book is a must read for all interested in blending spirituality with practicality."--J. Kalani English, Hawaii State Senator

"David Easton is an essential figure in the world of earthen architecture, both in the field and on paper. Through his work and books, Easton brings a practical answer to the Brundtland statement on sustainable development. He has proven beyond doubt that earthen architecture is a viable option for Our Common Future."--Hugo Houben, International Centre for Earth Construction, Grenoble, France

"David Easton's book is a definitive account of the art and technology of rammed earth construction. Architects, builders, and home-owners interested in earth construction methods should start here." -John Ochsendorf, PhD Associate Professor of Building Technology MIT Department of Architecture


David Easton

David Easton is the founder, along with Cynthia Wright, of Rammed Earth Works (REW Associates), a firm that over the past thirty years has designed and built more than 100 residential and commercial rammed earth structures around the world. They live in Napa, California. David blogs at


Lean Logic / Surviving the Future Set (2-Book Bundle)

Lean Logic / Surviving the Future Set (2-Book Bundle)

By David Fleming and Shaun Chamberlin

Two inspiring books for one price.

When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left behind his great unpublished work, a masterpiece more than thirty years in the making. In it, Fleming examined the consequences of an economy that destroys the very foundations—ecological, economic, and cultural—upon which it is built. Knowing that collapse is the only possible outcome, he asked, and envisioned, “What will follow?”

In partnership with Fleming’s estate and his close friend and collaborator Shaun Chamberlin, Chelsea Green Publishing is publishing Fleming’s posthumous work—Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It, with a foreword by Jonathon Porritt. Characteristic of Fleming’s wit, whimsy, and rebellion, he chose an all but bygone form—a written dictionary—to express his views of a future beyond industrial capitalism.

A dictionary unlike any other, Lean Logic leads readers through Fleming’s exploration of fields as diverse as culture, history, science, art, logic, ethics, myth, economics, and anthropology, comprised of more than 400 essay-entries covering topics such as Boredom, Community, Debt, Growth, Harmless Lunatics, Land, Lean Thinking, Nanotechnology, Play, Religion, Spirit, Trust, and Utopia.

The beauty of the linked dictionary format is that it allows Fleming to draw attention to connections that might otherwise be overlooked (each definition contains pointers to related entries) without detracting from his in-depth exploration of each topic. This also allows readers to follow a narrative that reflects their own inquisitive journeys.

And since Fleming’s death in 2010, Chamberlin found growing demand among fans of his work for a paperback version, to concisely present his rare insights and uniquely enjoyable writing style in a more conventional read-it-front-to-back format, perfect for readers discovering Fleming for the first time.

So, alongside Lean Logic, Chelsea Green is publishing Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy, edited by Chamberlin, with a foreword by Rob Hopkins. The book’s subtitle hints at Fleming’s compelling alternative, and there is no doubt that his far-sightedness has become even more apparent over recent years. He foresaw the schisms and convulsions shaking the economies of Europe, and was among the first in the world to reveal the ongoing pressure on oil supply and predict the subsequent growth in “unconventional” oil and gas, with all its consequences.

Fleming acknowledges, with honesty, the challenges we face. But rather than inducing despair, Lean Logic and Surviving the Future inspire optimism in the creativity and intelligence of humans to nurse our ecology back to health; to rediscover the importance of place and play, of reciprocity and resilience, and of community and culture. Ironically, the post-growth society Fleming envisioned can only come to pass after his death.

As Fleming writes in his introduction to Lean Logic, “The shocks of descent converging into our culture’s ‘climacteric’ will leave nothing in our lives unchanged. We cannot now avoid it, but it can be managed, mitigated, made survivable, recognised as our species’ toughest, but greatest, opportunity… We need to build the sequel, to draw on inspiration which has lain dormant, like the seed beneath the snow.”

This bundled set offer is only available from Chelsea Green.

Available in: Quantity pack

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Lean Logic / Surviving the Future Set (2-Book Bundle)

David Fleming, Shaun Chamberlin

Quantity pack $60.00

The Chelsea Green Reader

The Chelsea Green Reader

Chelsea Green, the Vermont-based independent publisher, has always had a nose for authors and subjects that are way ahead of the cultural curve, as is evident in this new anthology celebrating the company’s first thirty years in publishing.

The more than one hundred books represented in this collection reflect the many distinct areas in which we have published–from literature and memoirs to progressive politics, to highly practical books on green building, organic gardening and farming, food and health, and related subjects–all of which reflect our underlying philosophy: "The politics and practice of sustainable living." The Chelsea Green Reader offers a glimpse into our wide-ranging list of books and authors and to the important ideas that they express. Interesting and worth reading in their own right, the individual passages when taken as a whole trace the evolution of a highly successful small publisher–something that is almost an oxymoron in these days of corporate buyouts and multinational book groups.
From the beginning, Chelsea Green's books were nationally recognized, garnering positive reviews, accolades, and awards. We’ve published four New York Times bestsellers, and our books have set the standard for in-depth, how-to books that remain relevant years–often decades–beyond their original publication date.

"Chelsea Green was born from a single seed: the beauty of craft. Craft in writing and editing, in a story well told, or a thesis superbly expressed," writes cofounder and publisher emeritus Ian Baldwin in the book's foreword. Today, craft continues to inform all aspects of our work–design, illustration, production, sales, promotion, and beyond. It has even informed our business model: In 2012, Chelsea Green became an employee-owned company.

With the rise of the Internet, new media platforms, and a constantly shifting bookselling landscape, the future of publishing is anything but predictable. But if Chelsea Green's books prove anything, it is that, despite these challenges, there remains a hunger for new and important ideas and authors, and for the permanence and craftsmanship of the printed word. Today our ongoing mission is stronger than ever, as we launch into our next thirty years of publishing excellence.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

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The Chelsea Green Reader

Ben Watson, Ian Baldwin

Paperback $15.00

The Straw Bale House

The Straw Bale House

By Athena Swentzell Steen and Bill Steen and David Bainbridge

Imagine building a house with superior seismic stability, fire resistance, and thermal insulation, using an annually renewable resource, for half the cost of a comparable conventional home. Welcome to the straw bale house! Whether you build an entire house or something more modest-a home office or studio, a retreat cabin or guest cottage-plastered straw bale construction is an exceptionally durable and inexpensive option. What's more, it's fun, because the technique is easy to learn and easy to do yourself. And the resulting living spaces are unusually quiet and comfortable.The Straw Bale Housedescribes the many benefits of building with straw bales:

  • super insulation, with R-values as high as R-50
  • good indoor air quality and noise reduction
  • a speedy construction process
  • construction costs as low as $10-per-square-foot
  • use of natural and abundant renewable resources
  • a better solution than burning agricultural waste straw, which creates tons of air pollutants

Available in: Paperback

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The Straw Bale House

Athena Swentzell Steen, Bill Steen, David Bainbridge

Paperback $34.95

Wind Energy for the Rest of Us

Wind Energy for the Rest of Us

By Paul Gipe

Wind Energy for the Rest of Us straddles two—or more—worlds. The book is about wind energy. It’s not just about small wind turbines. It’s not just about large wind turbines. It’s about the depth and breadth of wind energy, encompassing more than either type of wind turbine. It includes water-pumping windmills and sailing ships. It’s a sprawling book, one minute discussing how to install small wind turbines safely, the next explaining how farmers in Indiana can earn millions by installing their own multimegawatt wind turbines. If it’s a book hard to categorize, that suits its author, Paul Gipe, who likes to think he’s hard to categorize after four decades at the frontiers of renewable energy. His book tells the story of modern wind energy in all its complexity and introduces a North American audience to the trailblazing electricity rebels who have launched a renewable energy revolution in Europe.

The book debunks novel wind turbines their promoters claim will generate electricity “too cheap to meter,” and rebukes revisionist historians who falsely argue that it was the aerospace industry that delivered today’s modern wind turbines.

Gipe explains why new wind turbines are part of a silent revolution that is changing the way we use wind energy. This revolution doesn’t garner headlines, but is making wind turbines more cost-effective in more places than ever before, lessening the need for new transmission lines, obviating the need for storage, and fueling rapid growth.

Gipe refutes many common myths surrounding wind energy and argues persuasively that wind turbines are productive, effective, and environmentally sound. Gipe argues that wind energy is too important to be left to electric utilities and their subsidiaries alone. Wind energy is also for the rest of us, he says. It is our resource. We can develop it and we can own it—ourselves.

Available in: Paperback

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Wind Energy for the Rest of Us

Paul Gipe

Paperback $65.00