Welcome to Building Earth! My name is Clare, and I write here about how to realign our living and building practices to be earth friendly and constructive rather than destructive. I also write about ways that my family is working to do just that.

family 2014

Although I am a Minnesota girl at heart, I have spent the vast majority of my adult life in other places. I graduated with a degree in Physics from Boston College in 2006. After graduation, I spent 27 months teaching secondary school physics in Tanzania as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer. While living in Tanzania, I discovered and grew a passion for living a simpler and more sustainable life. I returned to the U.S. and went on to get a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2013. I spent three years in Detroit studying, building and planting in community gardens, and working as a mechanical engineer in the automotive industry. In the spring of 2014, my family moved to Madison, WI for my husband’s residency. In 2015 we will be moving to a small town outside of Madison to see if we love the rural American life as much as we loved the rural Tanzanian life.


I started building earth in 2014 as a place to explain the science and engineering behind energy and efficiency, green building practices, and green living.

I believe that we can enjoy all of our modern day creature comforts AND leave a better impact on our environments.

I believe that we belong to the earth, the earth doesn’t belong to us.

You can find more of my day to day ramblings at macnamania.com. And you can follow building earth on facebook, instagram, google+, and pinterest.