In the United States today, most of our home construction follows similar style and formats. However, new and even very old construction practices are in use in some areas of the country.
Adobe : air dried mud bricks are set with a mud mortar, similar to modern day concrete block construction. Still on view today in the Southwest, for example Taos, NM. Adobe construction dates back as far as 10,000 years!
Rammed earth : moist soil is mixed and compacted into a reusable form to build walls. Rammed earth construction dates back to the first century A.D.. Modern rammed earth construction can incorporate steel reinforcement just as concrete construction, and comprises about half of the comparable compressive strength.
Log construction : the ever romanticized home construction technique, these homes are still built today, though many incorporate modern solutions to traditional problems of lack of insulation and insect infestation.
Straw bale construction: perhaps the most viable of each of these methods, straw bale construction incorporates the use of straw bales as insulation. Because of this, straw bale homes feature unique architecture and are generally very well insulated.
Though what matters to a homeowner changes as the years go by, one thing remains the same: we're all looking for a home that provides us with safety and comfort!