In the mid-70’s Cliff Shockey of Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, Canada decided to build an energy efficient home of recycled cordwood, but since he lived where the temps would go down to -50, he decided to build “double wall.”

Photo credit Cliff Shockey Vancouver Island Western Cedar with copyright

This double wall cordwood home is on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

He built a post and beam framework and laid up 8″ of cordwood on the outside. Then he put 12″ of stiff fiberglass insulation (there are many insulation choices) and then another 8″ of interior cordwood. He had 20″ of wall with an R-value approaching R-50.  Cliff won the Harrowsmith award for Energy Efficiency in 1997.  His design continues to inspire folks to this very day.

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The back cover of Cliff’s Double Wall Technique book.

A number of folks thought this was a good idea and decided to build double wall and try and improve on Cliff’s design.

Clint and Cindy Cannon's beautiful double wall cordwood and strawbale home in Canada.

Clint and Cindy Cannon’s beautiful double wall cordwood and strawbale home in Canada.

Clint & Cindy Cannon of Austin, Manitoba built a beautiful double wall and strawbale (balewall). They speak glowingly of 10 winters of lower heating bills with their home overlooking Antelope Valley.

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Bruce & Nancy Kilgore’s beautiful double wall cordwood home in upstate New York.


Bruce & Nancy Kilgore built a trapezoidal structure in upstate New York using double wall. Where Cliff went all the way with his mortar, Bruce and Nancy used 3″ of mortar, 2″ of sawdust insulation and 3″ of mortar on each side of their double wall creation.

Greg and Clare are building a wonderfully unique double wall home near Houghton, Michigan. They are using Lime Putty Mortar and blown in foam for a higher R-value.

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Greg & Clare’s double wall home near Houghton, Michigan.

Grant & Kiera Nicholson have a gorgeous double wall cordwood home in Owen Sound, Ontario. They experimented with a slip form technique for speeding up the cordwood process and now use the main room of the house as a music and recording studio.

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Grant & Keira Nicholson’s gorgeous double wall home in Owen Sound, Ontario.

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Here is the foundation that Grant constructed to stop energy nosebleed through the side of the slab. 

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This is just a beautiful-as-can-be arched door at the Nicholson’s double wall cordwood home.   

(Below) Alan Stankevitz’s double wall beauty near LaCrescent, Minnesota is an excellent example of double wall with renewable energy.  Alan is almost at a break even point when it comes to energy used and energy produced. You can learn more about Alan at by going to the Journal.

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Alan’s beautiful double wall creation in SE Minnesota.

All of these stories are written about in the Cordwood Conference Papers 2005 and/or 2011. The attention to detail and the sweat equity of each project is significant and profound and needs to be seen to be believed.

The only Double Wall book on the market has been written by Cliff Shockey and is available in ebook  at the Online Cordwood Bookstore at 

Cliff Shockey Cover 2007 small pixelsIf you have any questions or wish to learn more please “follow” this blog and/or email me at

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested check-out the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print, digital and ebook format.


Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011, and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for cordwood builders.  Cordwood Workshop DVD (2018),  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print 2020), and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their Cordwood Bookstore.  The books & DVDs are also available as ebooks for a quick and easy shipping-free,, digital download.