“Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin”

The organic beauty of building with straw

Every year in the U.S. over 200 million tons of otherwise renewable building material goes to waste.  Straw~bale construction is a highly underused, eco~friendly and affordable way to build.  It is also better for our bodies!  No off gases or chemicals, just dense bales covered in an earthen plaster create these lovely, organic homes.

Why build with straw bales?

75% savings on cooling and heating costs

Minimize wood useage

Eco friendly building materials and self insulating

Approximately 3x the fire resistance as a traditional wood framed structure

Easy and beautiful to build with

Don’t be surprised if the local bank looks at you strangely if you go to them and request a construction loan for a straw bale home.  While it’s a technique that has been around for a while, it’s not widely used, especially in the moister eastern states. However, there have been ample trials with straw construction in colder / wetter climates to show that if done properly, it’s quite effective and long lasting.

There are great books on the subject that can walk you through the process of financing and building, and more specifically building to suit your climate.

Serious Straw Bale: A Home Construction Guide for All Climates

http://www.amazon.com/Serious-Straw-Bale-Construction-Climates/dp/1890132640/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349189766&sr=1-1&keywords=straw+bale

The Beauty of Straw Bale Homes

http://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Straw-Bale-Homes/dp/B003JTHV1K/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349189766&sr=1-9&keywords=straw+bale

Another great resource for finding out more on building with straw is Andrew Morrison’s site.  He offers fun and educational workshops in the form of work parties on straw bale building all across the U.S.

It works like this…

You pay to take the course (somewhere around $400 usd), help build a house for the host(s) while you stay on their land with the rest of the work party of somewhere around 25 folks. You learn,  build, eat and work together… and in exchange you can then have Andrew offer a work party course on your site to build your own home in exchange for food and camping for the work party.

Very grass rootsey and cool in my humble opinion!

http://www.strawbale.com

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