Strawbale Construction


  • Residence sited into south-facing hillside for passive solar orientation, and to take advantage of summer breezes and shelter from winter winds
  • Foundation with exterior insulation to increase interior thermal mass
  • Timbers and lumber used for structural frame, left exposed on interior of house, obtained by deconstructing a local barn that was no longer in use
  • Roof-ceiling system with exposed rafters designed to take advantage of locally obtained, reclaimed extruded polystyrene insulation boards, and using “crossed” framing members to reduce thermal bridging between interior and exterior surfaces
  • Factory-finished, site-rolled steel roofing panels, recycled and recyclable, for durability and low-maintenance
  • Exterior walls of native prairie hay, baled on site, with bamboo reinforcing and with directly applied stucco and plaster surfaces for low-maintenance
  • Integral, insulated post and beam structure of plywood and lumber “box beams”, sized to thickness of walls to reduce need for on-site “reshaping“ of hay bales during construction
  • Locally reclaimed limestone used for various interior and exterior walls and floor surfaces
  • Highly energy-efficient and well sealed metal-clad wood-framed windows and exterior doors
  • Hydronic solar panels for space and water heating
  • Photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbine for electrical power generation
  • Hydronic radiant heating in concrete thermal mass floor system for consistent comfort
  • Composting toilet system
  • Attached sunspace for passive solar heat gain and indoor “wetland” gray-water processing system
  • Rain water routed from roof for storage in underground cistern
  • Designed for wheelchair accessibility throughout main floor areas
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