Bamboo & Cob Building by Kyle Young - Arivaca, Arizona


Our desert environment necessitates water conservation. Kyle has been a strong proponent of gabion building to retain and harvest rainwater in order to promote infiltration and to restore desert vegetation.

His web site contains a wealth of information. To check it out just click the link below


About Kyle Young

I met Kyle in 1999 about a year after I purchased my land in Arivaca. Kyle has been involved with organic farming & natural building for over 20-years. He is committed to using locally available, low ‘embodied-energy’ building materials such as clay, stone, sand from dry washes, bamboo, straw and recycled concrete known as ‘urbanite’.

Kyle incorporates fast-growing renewable bamboo into his earthen buildings both structurally and artistically (see photo at left) and is our local expert with bamboo growing and fabrication methods.

Kyle’s emphasis is to teach others along the way and frequently has interns working on his projects.


 Peg & Mary’s Cob Casita - Arivaca, Arizona


Peg & Mary worked 3-day weekends for over 5-years to complete this cob home. Located off-grid in Arivaca, this cob casita provides a comfortable living environment in the extreme climates of the desert. With no experience, but excited about natural building, they just dove-in to construction. Peg, Mary and their friends loved cobbing so much they don’t know when to stop when making the walls! The result was a 2-story structure!

PegMary (19)

I must admit I’m envious of this ceiling made from Ponderosa Pine vigas and bamboo latillas provided by Kyle at Katbamboo (see above).

Bamboo is a fast growing plant with about 1,500 species worldwide. Natural builders are incorporating bamboo into projects because it is a renewable material that can be grown locally. And it looks beautiful.

As a result of seeing this application, I’m planning to use bamboo in my cob studio for the ceiling/roof in a similar fashion.

When contemplating natural building, if you think about everything you have to do to complete the building or plan a deadline, you will be frustrated and mentally exhausted. In actuality, it takes years of hard work. To fully enjoy the process of natural building, you have to just focus on the next step and eventually the building will get done. Peg & Mary now have their payoff. A unique beautiful home, hand-built by them, no mortgage and free electricity from solar power.


This is a more recent photo of Peg and Mary’s cob casita showing the pigmented-clay lime plaster and other finishing touches. The setting-sun provides stunning illumination to the structure against the back-drop of the surrounding desert.

Arivaca, Arizona
Natural building capital of the world !