Dan Chiras has been involved in natural and alternative building since 1994 and lives in an off-grid passive solar/solar electric home in the foothills of the Rockies. His house is built from straw bales, rammed earth tires, and numerous green building materials and is powered entirely by wind and solar energy. Dan is author of The Natural House: A Complete Guide to Healthy, Energy-Efficient, Environmental Homes, published by Chelsea Green; The Natural Plaster Book: Earthen, Lime, and Gypsum Plasters for Natural Homes (with Cedar Rose Guelberth), published by New Society Publishers; and numerous articles on natural building and sustainable design, which have appeared in Mother Earth News, Natural Home, and The Last Straw. Dan embraces a comprehensive systems approach to building that offers a wide range of benefits to people, the planet, and our economy. He will field general questions on natural building and offers consultation on project design and construction, as well as lectures and workshops on various aspects of natural and sustainable design and construction.
Q: I have been in some form of construction my entire life. I feel this type to be most beneficial and earth efficient. I want to build this way.What is my best chance if any on getting a job this field? Any advice?
A: It is not always easy to find employment in the field of natural building and renewable energy. Your best bet is to start asking around your area, and to sign up for some internships or volunteer work. Www.greenhomebuilding.com lists volunteer opportunities from time to time. My advice is to get to know as many people as you can in the field in your area. Attend workshops. Attend conferences. Get out there and keep asking, and something could turn up. You could even develop your own company.