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Presentations, Other Organizations and Resources


DCAT’s program Building Sustainability into the Codes has pioneered the concept that the responsibility of safeguarding public health, safety and welfare inherently includes protecting future generations and the natural systems on the Earth that are our collective life support systems and the basis of our very existence. Through that work, begun in the mid-1990s, we have led a three-phase movement, first to develop awareness of these larger issues and their relationship to the regulation of design, construction, and development, and the resulting need for change. Then, as the need for change has been recognized, we have been creating and fostering the creation of resources to build the capacity for these needed changes. And more recently, as this shift has been widening and accelerating, we have been seeing our third-phase vision of transfer of leadership coming to fruition as organizations such as the International Code Council (ICC) taking up green building and issues of sustainability in their own vision and mission in relation to safeguarding the public from hazards attributed to the built environment.

Below are a variety of resources related to our codes and standards work including publications, presentations and links to other key organizations engaged with us in this transformation.

Click here if you need to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files.)

David Eisenberg Presents at Ryerson University, Toronto

David was invited to speak at multiple locations in Canada recently. This talk was from March 3rd, and was very well received by a great audience. Download the PDF of David's presentation here, complete with his speaking notes. 

Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute

One of our most oft-cited resources is the Sustainable Community Development Code crafted by RMLUI. Find the report and other resources here.


Oasis Designs

A great resource for all things water, wastewater, gray water, rainwater harvesting and more is Oasis Designs. Check out Art Ludwig's page on legalizing sustainability. Good food for thought.


David Eisenberg Presents to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Green Building Conference

DCAT Director David Eisenberg was an invited delegate, presenter, and moderator at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Green Building Conference (APEC - www.apec.org) - "Green Buildings and Green Growth: The Enabling Role of Standards and Trade" held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC, March 3rd and 4th, 2011. This conference was attended by approximately 150 people from about 20 Pacific Rim countries. A slightly modified version (there is one additional slide - #20) of David's presentation can be downloaded here.

David has also made available the PowerPoint version of his presentation, which can be downloaded via YouSendIt at the following link: APEC PowerPoint


David's Presentation in Victoria BC for ASRi

David's Presentation to the Alternative Solutions Resource Initiative - http://www.asri.ca
Download here.


International Perspectives on the Role of Building Regulation in Responding to the Challenges of Climate Change

David's opening presentation for the IRCC/ICC one-day workshop in Boston on October 20, 2010 - sponsored by the International Code Council (ICC) and the Inter-jurisdictional Regulatory Collaboration Committee (IRCC). Download the presentation here, or follow this link to loads of additional resources.


David Eisenberg Presents to the Central Arizona
Renewable Energy Network (CAZREN)

CAZREN Presentation Cover Page

Click on the image above to download the PDF of the presentation, complete with David's speaking notes for each slide. (2.9 MB PDF)

DCAT Completes Work on Living Building Challenge White Paper

"Code, Regulatory and Systemic Barriers Affecting Living Building Projects"

Living Building Challenge Report

(download report here)

Access the full press release here.

Building Codes Survey

In 2002 DCAT conducted a survey of code officials and code users to help identify and better understand the barriers to green building. Download “Breaking Down the Barriers” (248K pdf file)

Building Safety Journal
- magazine of the International Code Council (ICC)

Subscription information and the current issue are available here: Building Safety Journal

In addition, ICC has now created a Green Building webpage (with a link from the ICC homepage) where the latest articles and features on green building can be found (including the feature on green building in the August 2007 issue of Building Safety Journal) as well as links to other green building resources.

BSJ Covers

June 2008 Gaining New and Wider Views (256k pdf file)

April-May 2008 Changing Times (296k pdf file)

January-February 2008 Challenge of a Lifetime (236k pdf file)

Building Safety Journal Green Feature Issue June 2008 (1.3mb pdf file)

Building Safety Journal Green Feature Issue August 2007 (1.4mb pdf file)

Building Safety Journal Green Feature Issue June 2005 (1.8mb pdf file)

Building Safety Journal Green Feature Issue May/June2004 (904k pdf file)

Building Safety Journal Green Feature Issue May 2003 (1.8mb pdf file)

Building Safety Journal - Building Codes for a Small Planet Columns (1.4mb pdf file)

Articles/Features From ICBO’s Building Standards Magazine

Building Standards was the magazine of the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) until the consolidation of ICBO with the Building Officials and Code Administrators International (BOCA), the Southern Building Code Conference International (SBCCI) and the Council of American Building Officials (CABO) into the International Code Council (ICC). The ICC then began publishing their magazine, Building Safety Journal. See below for selected articles and features from Building Safety Journal that DCAT was involved in writing, developing and/or putting together.

January/February 2000 Feature in Building Standards Magazine

Building Standards Jan/Feb 2000 cover

“An Alternative Future for Building Codes” (2.8mb pdf file) - an interview with Bob Fowler (past Chairman of the ICBO Board and founding Board Chairman of ICC) and DCAT Director David Eisenberg from the January/February 2000 issue of Building Standards Magazine.

“Chairman’s Message” by Dan Nickle (1.2mb pdf file)

“Earthship Building: An Ecocentric Method of Construction” by Jack Ehrhardt
(1.2mb pdf file)

“Building With Bamboo” by Darrel DeBoer (1.6mb pdf file)

“Cob Construction” by Michael Smith and “Cob and the Building Code” by John Fordice (1.1mb pdf file)

“Cast Earth: A Revolutionary Building Concept” by Michael Frerking (1.2mb pdf file)

“Lunar and Terrestrial Sustainable Building Technology in the New Millennium: An Interview with Architect Nader Khalili” by Madhu Thangavelu (1.6mb pdf file)

September/October 1998 Feature in Building Standards Magazine

“Toward Less Waste” by Dennis Weaver and “Building a Sustainable Future” by David Eisenberg (2.1mb pdf file)

“Rammed Earth: Developing New Guidelines for an Old Material” by Joe Tibbets
(1.5mb pdf file)

“Adobe: A Present from the Past” by Paul McHenry, Jr. (1.7mb pdf file)

“Straw-bale Construction” by Bruce King, P.E. (2.6mb pdf file)

“Earth Architecture and Ceramics” by Nader Khalili and Phil Vittore, P.E. (1.8mb pdf file)

“Pozzolans Unpuzzled” by Bruce King, P.E. (736K pdf file)

March/April 2002 Feature in Building Standards Magazine

“Chairman’s Message” by Fred Herman (1.2mb pdf file)

“Building Codes for a Small Planet” - by David Eisenberg (948K pdf file)

“Green Building Programs - An Overview” - by Peter Yost (1.8mb pdf file)

“Daylighting and Night Darkening” - by Nancy E. Clanton (1.4mb pdf file)

“Integrated Design” - by William G. Reed (1.5mb pdf file)

“Integrated Water Systems Design: The Beneficial Use of Non-Traditional Water Sources” by David Confer (1.7mb pdf file)

“Building Codes for a Small Planet” - DCAT’s collected Building Standards columns (3mb pdf file)

International Building Codes Presentations

In 2003 and 2005 David Eisenberg was invited to present at the first two Global Policy Summits of the Inter-jurisdiction Regulatory Collaboration Committee (IRCC), an international organization of national code organizations promoting the development and use of performance-based building codes. There are a number of useful reports on performance-based building codes and results of meetings on this website.

Below are the reports and pdf files of David Eisenberg’s Powerpoint presentations from the 2003 and 2005 IRCC Global Policy Summits in Washington, D.C. and Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland, Australia.

David Eisenberg’s presentation at the 2003 IRCC Global Policy Summit on Performance Codes (2.9mb pdf file)

2003 IRCC Global Policy Summit Report (444k pdf file)

David Eisenberg’s presentation at the 2005 IRCC Global Policy Summit on Sustainability (2.1mb pdf file)

2005 IRCC Sustainability Summit Summary Report (736k pdf file)

September 2008 Australia and New Zealand Presentations

SB08- Sustainable Building 08 Melbourne, Australia September 24, 2008 (2.7mb pdf file)

Presentation at the University of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia September 17, 2008 (5mb pdf file)

Presentation at the Christchurch, New Zealand City Council Chambers September 8, 2008 (5.8mb pdf file)

Presentation to the Warkworth, New Zealand Transition Towns Group, September 6, 2008 (3.7mb pdf file)

October 2008 California Presentations

This is a compilation of the three public presentations David Eisenberg gave, entitled Green Building and Beyond, in Santa Barbara and Ventura, California on October 29 and 30, 2008. This pdf file includes the Powerpoint presentation slides with notes of the approximate remarks that accompanied the slides. (6.2mb pdf file)

Code-Related Articles and Presentations by DCAT and David Eisenberg

David Eisenber’s Keynote (non-plenary) at the 2007 WEST COAST GREEN Conference, San Francisco, CA entitled: Creating Communities of Change: What We Learned in the Code Forest (2.2mb pdf file)
(This presentation has the transcript of the talk along with the Powerpoint slides)

Environmental Building News Sept. 2001

Sustainability and Building Codes -Environmental Building News Sept 2001 (773K pdf file)

Cover feature article by David Eisenberg and Peter Yost on sustainability and building codes for Environmental Building News - Includes comprehensive checklist for getting alternative materials, methods and designs approved.

Mother Earth News Dec/Jan 2006

Link to Essential Advice for Owner-Builders - by David Eisenberg (Mother Earth News Dec/Jan 2006).

Fine Homebuilding 2007 Houses issue

Link to Our Myopic Building Codes - by David Eisenberg, “Taking Issue” editorial, 2007 Fine Homebuilding Houses issue.

Building Codes for a Small Planet

Link to excerpt from DCAT video “Building Codes for a Small Planet” on the Fine Homebuilding website.
To obtain a copy of this DVD visit the DCAT Store.


In addition to the links above, DCAT is constantly collecting content for our resource section to provide information and resource links for specific alternative building materials and systems, as well as for the natural building movement, such as those below:

Natural Building
DCAT Participates in Congressional Briefing in Washington DC: Straw-Bale Construction: Harvesting Its Potential as an Affordable and Energy-Efficient Building Strategy

On June 20, 2008 the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) hosted a briefing about straw-bale construction and how it can help address some of our most serious national policy challenges, such as record energy prices and unemployment, inadequate supply of affordable housing, the threat of climate change, and pressing needs in transportation and infrastructure funding. The modern building industry places heavy demands on the energy and transportation sectors. Straw is a locally-sourced, widely available, and renewable resource that builders, architects, engineers, and home owners are turning into affordable, safe, durable, and energy-efficient buildings in many climates. The presenters (Laura Bartels, President of Greenweaver Inc.; Sandy Wiggins, Principle of Consilience, LLC and past Chair of the US Green Building Council; Bob Gough, Secretary of the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy; and DCAT Director David Eisenberg) discussed the benefits of using this American invention, the regulatory barriers and institutional biases against straw-bale construction, and the role of the federal government in resolving these issues. An audio recording of the entire briefing and the Powerpoint presentations are all downloadable here.

Natural building Network

The Natural Building Network - Source of ongoing information and resources for natural building worldwide.

Natural Building and Building Community

Natural Building and Building Community article by Jeanine Sih Christensen - February 2008 The Good Life Magazine, Austin, Texas

Straw Bale Building Systems

Design of Straw Bale Buildings

“The Design of Straw Bale Buildings” by Bruce King and others, published by Green Building Press is the best compilation of technical information, research, testing and design guidance available.

the last straw

To keep up to date about straw bale construction and natural building The Last Straw Journal is unsurpassed for its global coverage of these movements.

Straw Bale and Earthen Building Codes

Austin Straw Bale Code (20K pdf file)
Boulder Straw Bale Code (16K pdf file)
California Straw Bale Code (144K pdf file)

Pima County Codes for earthen and straw bale construction have been updated and revised as standards below. These standards are applicable in Pima County, Arizona, and referenced and often accepted within the City of Tucson. Contact the building department with questions.

Pima County Development Services

Below are current links to the Pima County codes. The adoption of the 2015 IRC Appendix S - Strawbale Construction - as well as Appendix R for Light Straw-Clay will be delayed because the City of Tucson and Pima County are not planning to update their codes until the 2018 I-Codes are available. It is still possible for someone wanting to use either of these appendices to do so, as it is typically acceptable to request the use of a more current code, even if it has not yet been adopted by the jurisdiction.

Pima County Approved Standard for Earthen IBC Structures download .pdf (70K)
Pima County Approved Standard for Earthen IRC Structures download .pdf (222K)
Pima County Approved Standard for Straw-Bale Construction download .pdf (168K)

Finally, here are two links to the free, read-only, online Public Access webpages where the two appendices can be viewed.

Direct free online read-only access from ICC:

2015 IRC Appendix S Strawbale Construction available here for free online viewing only through ICC public access (click to view)

2015 IRC Appendix R Light Straw-Clay Construction available here for free online viewing only through ICC public access (click to view)


E-119-05a 2-Hour Full Scale Fire Test - Cement Stucco Straw Bale Wall (4.7mb pdf file)

E-119-05a 1-Hour Full Scale Fire Test - Clay Plastered Straw Bale Wall (4.9mb pdf file)

ASTM E84-98 Surface Burning Characteristics report (452K pdf file)

ASTM E-119 Small Scale Fire Test (New Mexico) (264K pdf file)

For more information about testing and research related to strawbale construction, including an online video of the two E-119-05a Full Scale Fire Tests listed above, please visit the Ecological Building Network (EBNet). EBNet raised the funding for this fire testing and DCAT oversaw the construction of the test walls and the testing.

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