This is perhaps the most exciting day in straw bale construction history. The proposed appendix on straw bale construction was approved at the International Code Council (ICC) Final Action Hearings in Atlantic City on October 4, 2013! As a result, we now have a national straw bale building code!
Tag Archives | Design
One of the most stunning aspects of a straw bale home is the shape that window and door openings take. The gentle curves flood light across the room and lend a sense of calm and peace to the occupants. These very same curves that bring so much joy and serenity can also drive home owners crazy. That sounds unlikely; however, when the curves are not properly built, they can cause all kinds of problems as the home is finished.
You have likely heard me say this before, but it is worth saying again: keep your plumbing out of your bales. Of course, it’s not as simple as that when it comes to adding plumbing to a straw bale house. There are obviously more details to consider in order to ensure that the straw bale walls are not damaged by water infiltration. The good news is that there are a limited number of locations to consider in terms of potential water damage from plumbing in a straw bale home so managing the installation is easier than you may think. In this article, we will look at the major areas of concern and I’ll show you my preferred solution for each location.
We have recently added a bunch of construction drawings of straw bale houses (full sets of plans) to our website bringing the total to nineteen sets. We have several different architects represented with several different styles. Everything from simple to elaborate is available.
Last weekend in Denver, Colorado I held my first ever 2-day Straw Bale Design Seminar. I suppose it would be silly for me to try and share the group experience via a blog post. We simply covered too much ground and had too much fun to sum it up in a few paragraphs. I’ll do my best, nonetheless, to let you in on it as best I can. I started my workshop by hugging old friends and saying hello to new ones. I think there is something about starting a workshop that way because the smiles seemed to be contagious. I think they came from knowing that the room was full of like minded people willing to share their questions and experiences to help the group move forward. The simple format of the weekend allowed us to discuss the inner workings of straw bale construction in great detail. We covered the construction details of building a straw bale home and how to properly represent those details on the construction drawings. We talked at great length about working with building departments, banks, insurance companies, and more. We dove into managing subcontractors, budgets, and time lines. We reviewed the plans that participants brought with them and offered feedback and guidance on each set.
I have created an entirely new workshop focused specifically on the design aspect of straw bale construction. Visit www.StrawBaleWorkshops.com and click on Design Workshop under the 2012 Locations drop down menu to learn more or to sign up today.
Proper framing techniques will speed and simplify your process. Follow these simple steps to get your frame erected quickly and much more easily than standard post and beam framing practices.