what we do

Community Rebuilds is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation whose mission is to build energy efficient housing, provide education on sustainability, and improve the housing conditions of the workforce through an affordable program. Community Rebuilds constructs affordable and energy efficient straw bale homes, working with the homeowner and training a dedicated group of volunteer interns on each home project. These interns are young emerging professionals with the desire to participate in an experiential program as they learn how to build low carbon, modern natural buildings.

Affordability Meets Sustainability

Community Rebuilds has created an innovative social enterprise, building affordable housing solution by taking several steps to reduce the cost of construction. Our innovative, low-tech methods include: recruiting volunteer student

interns to complete the bulk of the construction labor, utilizing simple architectural designs that reduce design costs and encourage replicability, incorporating healthy natural materials that are “dirt cheap”—materials such as mud and straw —and using recycled, salvaged and donated building materials wherever possible. Our Moab homes cost around $70 per square foot, half the standard costs of construction in a region where housing and land costs are high. We combine passive and active solar design—standard on every home—with highly insulating straw bale wall systems, also significantly decreasing future heating and cooling costs. Our homes are not only affordable to build, but the affordability continues through the life cycle operation of our homes over the years to come.

Education Program

Community Rebuilds constructs affordable housing for the community while providing valuable education and skills in natural building to every person involved: homeowners, interns, staff and volunteers. Our interns participate from foundation-to-finish working under the direction of our expert natural building instructors. We are the only organization that offers this type of education free of cost to our interns, including unique hands-on learning, free housing and a food stipend in trade. 


Community Rebuilds launched in Moab, building our pilot home in 2010. After a few successful builds in Moab, the program expanded in 2013 to Gunnison County, CO, to assist more families struggling to find affordable housing in a tourism based economy.

In 2015 Community Rebuilds expanded our model again through a partnership with Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture, to support them in replicating the student education program on the Hopi Reservation and build homes for low and very-low income families.

By the end of 2016, Community Rebuilds will have collaboratively built 22 homes and educated over 180 students!

In these exciting ways, we work to improve the communities we serve and realize our mission to build energy-efficient housing, provide education in sustainability, and improve the housing conditions of the workforce through an affordable residence program.