What drives success?

Charmaine Taylor had an excellent post on the Organic Architecture list today regarding the sustained viability of some building mediums.  She was talking specifically about straw bale, but her words of wisdom can be applied to any perishable medium.  Will the method/medium survive?  For some mediums there are centuries of proof . . . stone, brick, adobe, cob . . . the same can’t be said for straw bale or papercrete.

Charmaine’s post brought other rumblings to mind.  For a while I’ve been pondering the failure rate of self-built homes.  Not after they’re complete, but the number of partially completed subsequently abandoned projects.   In the papercrete world there have been two in the last couple months, one in the just-getting-started stages and one in the almost ready to move in stages.  The projects weren’t abandoned for the same reason, but it does bring to mind some questions.

If the first home you’re involved in building is alternative architecture, do you already have a significant strike against you?

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