Building with Heart

Building for oneself or for the community has many benefits - besides reducing costs, it can provide an interesting and worthwhile experience for those participating and also an opportunity to produce a beautifully crafted building which could not otherwise be afforded. However, to be viable, it needs to be approached in ways that are often the opposite to conventional methods. As a communal task, self-building can involve anyone, regardless of skill, strength or practical ability. On the other hand, few people will stick at it unless the experience is nourishing - the artistic element is essential to inspire and nourish. Based on the author's experience of building, including houses and a Steiner school, "Building with Heart" is a guide to all aspects of community-built projects, from design and organization to the practicalities of choosing and using materials.