book report: More Straw Bale Building

I took a break from my US political history book and read this weekend More Straw Bale Building : A Complete Guide to Designing and Building with Straw by Chris Magwood,Peter Mack, which i thought was excellent and intimidating. i'm not a handyman but i can stack blocks. haybales can support a roof without additional wood. it's even possible to build a straw yurt. i can't get much more unconventional. this book offers hope that it can be done and has been done. More inspiration can be found at massive link farms such as Surfin' Strawbale. the authors run a Canadian construction company called Camel's Back Construction, get the pun on straw? Their FAQ addresses all the silly worries about pests and fire. I like this from their FAQ,

"Why build with bales?

There are many different reasons people choose to build with bales. From an environmental perspective, bales are an anually renewable building material, which happens to be essentially a waste product in Canada. Bale building results in voluntary carbon sequestering; several tonne worth. Bale homes are the likely choice for those who understand and care about embodied energy of materials. There are huge energy savings in bale buildings, given that the R-value of the walls is rated at R-40; this allows for great savings in heating and cooling buildings. Some people choose to build with bales due to the ease with which this technology can be learned. It is an extremely accessible form of building, for men, women, childen, and people of all abilities. A common reason for building with bales is the aesthetic value. If you have not seen a bale building, we encourage you to look for Open Houses and house tours. The warmth and depth of a bale wall is inviting, and inspiring. The rounded windows, built in benches, niches, the thick walls that serve to create warmth and quiet, the fact that no two bale houses will ever be the same...all of these are reasons enough to build with bales."


Lesliehm said…
Hi there, I own a strawbale house and have to say it has performed great over the winter and spring so far. It is warm and inviting in winter and cool and refreshing in 90 degree weather. This weekend I actually 'warmed' up the house to 74 degrees by opening the windows and running the ceiling fans. At night it cooled down to about 70 degrees by the time I went to bed. t-shirt comfortable most of the year with no additional heating or cooling.

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