Maybelle and Rip are in Europe and have sent along some pictures of where they've been hanging out. They've been to cities and towns all over eastern Europe. After studying the pictures, it looks to me like there are some pretty cool building styles. It made me wonder just what folks build homes from in different parts of the world and if we use the same building materials here. I investigated a little and found for the most part, people in developed countries use mostly the same building materials. But I did learn an interesting thing: one can build a house with anything from mud to Insulating concrete forms.
Of course, through the ages, people build what they need with what they can gather. Things like mud and brick, sod and thatch, straw bale houses and wood frame construction were all born from necessity. And each one of those things was an improvement or modification of the last and pretty good for keeping people warm, dry and safe. Unless of course they just burrowed into the side of hills and became hobbits. But even for burrow diggers, hobbits were very technologically advanced. They lived in beauty and comfort and weren't afraid to share.
These days everyone is trying to be green and live in homes that will use less energy and withstand more damage from earthquakes, hurricanes and the like. That's the whole reason people initially built houses in the first place isn't it? We've gone from burrowing hillsides to homes made from insulating concrete forms that are really strong, energy efficient, cost effective beautiful and offer the level of comfort any hobbit would be glad to entertain in.