This last Apr-May 2015 I spent 8 days in the beautiful AZ desert learning how to build a straw-bale house. Yes, a house made of straw…bales. Why on Earth would anyone want to build their house out of clay, lime and straw with some wood framing here or there? Becasue its awesome, environmentally friendly ( as long as you get NON GMO straw, yes that is a thing)and the R(45) factor and fire safety (safer than traditional housing and 4x less likely to burn!) is off the chart.
It can be less expensive ( depending on the size, complexity and design of the home) and can be done with a small crew of people with the right know how in a fairly short amount of time.