A Growing Village

Ionia is growing and in need of more family homes. Some new tiny homes are underway here already. Building ones’ own home is a powerful source of dignity and pride, security and, often, wellness and recovery.

The Ionia Barn is a perfect set-up for natural home building, complete with huge carpentry shop for frames and beams and mechanized “train” for creating natural clay/straw insulation, bricks and plasters.  As many ancient cultures have proven, natural materials can last for centuries if they are protected from the elements with a good “hat and boots”: a roof overhang which protects the building from driving rains and snow, a well drained site with concrete or crushed rock foundation.  We want to build homes which make good use of small spaces, with passive solar and open floor plans; homes which naturally address air quality, light, color, and which use a combination of thermal mass (clay soil) and thermal insulation (fiber) to create a comfortable interior climate and high level of energy efficiency.  Clay paints and plasters create a handsome protective finish.

This is the beginning of an accessible pathway for impoverished families to build graceful, low cost, high performance homes using local materials, perfect for Alaska’s four seasons.