About Us

BWB Mission Statement:

Builders Without Borders is an international network of ecological builders who advocate the use of natural, local, and affordable materials in construction. We believe the solution to inadequate shelter is not merely better buildings, but people who know how to build for themselves. To this end, BWB creates educational materials and opportunities to empower communities, organizations and owner-builders.

Since its founding in December of 1999, Builders Without Borders (BWB) has formed a network of ecological builders and other volunteers dedicated to natural building. Our focus is educational and organizational. We connect a network of professionals and volunteers with those in need. We support those working in the field, through providing books, videos, and DVDs, advice, connections with experts, and hands-on training. BWB promotes straw, earth, and other natural building materials, and facilitation techniques that are culturally-sensitive, fun and effective.

Straw bales are highly suitable for solving the housing shortage in economically marginalized communities because of their super-insulating qualities and their low cost as an agricultural waste material. They function as giant building blocks and can be quickly stacked into walls by a volunteer crew with little or no building experience. Plastered with earth they can provide a comfortable and healthful place to live.

However, Builders Without Borders does not prescribe one solution for all situations, but rather a climate appropriate, relationship-based process that allows individuals and communities find their own solutions through dialogue and collaboration. Such a process is:

• Hands-on. Developing practical skills within communities.
• Regionally appropriate. Utilizing local knowledge, skills and materials.
• Cross-fertilizing. Creating a cross-cultural exchange of ideas and techniques.
• Respectful. Empowering local decision making.

Builders Without Borders is a project of Networks Productions, Inc.

Read about BWB in The Last Straw Journal.

Currently BWB offers support to these Partner organizations.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), click here.

Board of Advisors
Alfred von Bachmayr
Joe Costion
Joeseph Kennedy
Matts Myhrman
Dr. Owen Geiger

Steering Committee
Catherine Wanek, Co-Director
Derek Roff
Martin Hammer, Co-Director

Organizations in our Network
Bustan L’Shalom
– California Straw Building Association

The Canelo Project
– Colorado Straw Bale Association

– Development Center for Appropriate Technology

Ecological Building Network
FASBA – the German Straw Bale Association
GSBN- Global Straw Building Network
OSBBC – Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition
Solar Energy International
SBCA – the Straw Bale Construction Association of New Mexico
World Citizen Diplomats

Send all letters, comments and articles to:
Builders Without Borders
119 Kingston Main Street
Hillsboro, NM 88042

email: Contact Us
phone: 510-525-0525

Builders without Borders admires and applauds the work of Doctors Without Borders, but is not affiliated with them.