Monday, June 17

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Building alternatives displayed by CEF

The team behind the natural-build demo site on the corner of Birch St. and Golden Ave., in Crestone, is gearing up in anticipation of the 35th annual Crestone Energy Fair (CEF), September 14-15, 2024. Last year, Benjamin Byer and Michelle Beelendorf-Byer donated use of some of their land to CEF to help bring increased awareness to the event and its ongoing education program by way of a permanent mixed-medium shed installation. The shed showcases various building styles including a dry stack foundation, cob, strawbale, aircrete and hempcrete panels. The project was initially envisioned by Shawn King and construction began prior to last year’s Energy Fair. A Saguache County Sales Tax grant helped to bring the idea to life. During the 2023 event, the build brought large crowds seeking hands-on experience in various alternative and natural building styles. A rammed earth sitting bench will be built soon, and a living roof is also in the works. Reveal windows will be installed to showcase each style of construction after the shed is complete. Additional desired additions include natural plasters, papercrete, earthbags with scoria, adobe blocks, compressed earth and a bottle wall.

Community members can join the team Thursdays from 5:45 p.m.-dusk and learn about these alternative building methods and assist with the project. An informational banner will be placed next to the shed to educate and inform the public about the project and its affiliation with CEF. Learn more at

Check out other tags: