Chris Carl wrote:
I have been researching this topic from a perspective of efficiency and total life-cycle energy expenditure (mine and dead dinosaurs). I'm leaning strongly toward MGO SIP construction for it's simplicity, flexibility and durability. MGO SIPs are virtually waterproof, rot-proof, insect proof and can be ordered as a 'kit house' with almost everything included to rise from a foundation to weather-tight on a single truck load. Why this, because Carpenter bees and termites have decimated my original site-sourced cabin in only a few years. You can investigate this option at: (I have no affiliation)
They are located in Miami Florida, ship mainly to Central and South America, are aligned to supplying small, highly efficient housing to third-world countries and disaster areas. The buildings are made of panels and can be assembled with minimal tools by 4 people in only a few days. (though some kind of crane to place roof panels would sure help).
This is the least expensive (but not cheep), most efficient, fastest self-build option I've found. Both panel faces are almost impervious to water and don't require outside siding or interior drywall. The roof doesn't even require shingles or cladding. The company offers a water-based (really gooey) paint that can be used to finish the outside and roof, like what is used on mobile-home roofs or new commercial buildings. As much as I'm against using petrochemicals, this system should last 100 years (though that is still unproven) with minimal inputs for heating or cooling. That said, ain't nothing "natural" about it.
Sorry, for all the 'qualifiers', think I'll shut-up now