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.
Tag Archives | straw bale
The efficiency of straw bale homes would be a wonderful thing to share with those living in extreme climates and the existence, or lack there of, of local modern baling machinery should not deter people from making this happen.
The Hastoe Housing Association has plans to build four straw bale homes, at Millfield, High Ongar in Essex, Great Britain. These straw bale houses will be the first ever straw bale housing development built in Britain by a housing association.
Using a lime finish coat over a base of clay plaster is a recipe for disaster. I have heard of far too many failures when using this technique. Please read on and do not try this technique on your project.
Some people tell you to add dry lime to your stack of straw bales before you build your straw bale house. I disagree.
People often talk to me about testing the moisture content of the bales in their walls once their straw bale house is complete. The best way to accomplish this is to utilize the space behind the electrical boxes throughout the home.
As Thailand is a large rice producer, with up to 2 crops per year here in the north, there was a lot of rice straw left standing in the fields after harvesting, either by hand or machine, and most of it was burned to clear the way for more planting. I thought, why not use this neglected resource and build a small cottage.
There are so many details to a quality plaster job and so many places to make mistakes. The real question may not be whether to spray or to apply by hand, but rather, what steps need to be taken, no matter which application method is chosen, such that the plaster job will be successful.
It’s not unusual to end up with extra bales after building a straw bale house. In fact, I recommend it. Those extra bales are great to have around as steps or scaffolding supports when plastering. Furthermore, I would always rather have a few too many bales than not enough when building. The question is, what to do with the extra […]
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.