Community Rebuilds' mission is to build energy-efficient housing, provide education on sustainability and improve the housing conditions of the workforce through an affordable program. Visit our website, www.communityrebuilds.org, and find us Facebook.

    Throughout the course of each build, this blog is a place where we share photos, videos, stories, progress updates and wild anecdotes.

    Click on a particular semester under 'categories' down and to the left OR just click on photos or post titles to read more. You can view previous posts, by month by clicking on the archives to the right, or by week by clicking on tags.

    Thanks for visiting!

Meet Our Straw Farmer, Dave Swinger

About Dave Swinger: I was born and raised in west/central Ohio. I had worked on farms while in high school but had fallen in love with the wide open spaces of the west. I escaped in 1971 and I worked on farms and ranches in Wyo. Nev., and Colo. I landed in Eastern Utah and … Continue reading


Building houses, making homes

Home is more than a physical structure built out of wood, dirt and straw. After a 5 month crash course in strawbale building, we can see the tangible outcomes- We’ve built two new strawbale houses to take the place of an empty lot and an outdated trailer. They are layered in earthen plasters, topped with … Continue reading


Half Way Home!

As we reach the midway point of our semester and comeback together after our adventurous Spring Breaks, the straw bale homes and CR interns fully take form and perform! We bear witness the results of our combined and prolonged efforts and admire at the effects of communal cohesiveness and purpose. As the straw has grown … Continue reading


Alumni Spotlight: Kristen O’Brien “Once you are in the family, you are always in the family.”

Back in August 2014, I started a year of service as an Americorps VISTA at Solar Energy International working on Community Revitalization through Solar in Delta County, CO (where SEI is located). SEI decided to apply to Americorps for my position due to the fact that over the last 2 years, nearly 500 local people … Continue reading

strawbale selfies

We made a house!

photo credits to Juliana Dearr, James Larson, Amanda Clemons and Daphne Rich


Devil in the Details

A large truck squeezes down the driveway to dump a full load of dirt onto the build site. This brown sandy mountain sits next to the smaller mountain of clay we harvested the day before for the first plaster coat. Both of these piles lie a comfortable ten feet away from the heaping pile of … Continue reading


Do it right, and do it well

It takes an amazing amount of foresight to build a home. A plot of land can be a blank slate- and when done with intention- transformed in to a space both functional and beautiful in form for active and healthy lives. It’s taken a lot of mental stretching to wrap my brain around how the … Continue reading

Red rock, demolition, and Moab

Red rock, demolition, and Moab; and thus the spring 2015 season of Community Rebuilds began. Interns have descended from across state and national lines to the harsh and exceptionally beautiful landscape of Southern Utah. As diverse as the regions in which we inhabit, sixteen unique strangers have come together with different ideals and lifestyles. We … Continue reading

The End

This Sunday, everyone rallied at Melissa and Randy’s home for 3 hours of balls to the wall finish plastering and floor pouring. Warning: This blog post contains sentimental group photos. I can neither confirm nor deny that they may bring a tear to your eye.


Finishing touches, nearly touching the finish

At this stage of the build daily projects seem at once huge and small. With finish plasters going up and adobe floors being poured, it’s easy to forget about the little things like fixtures and face-plates. Hand in hand, these big and little things work together to make a home whole.


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