Around the Bend Strawbale House, Pond and Gardens

April 3, 2007

Why strawbale?

Filed under: Strawbale/Energy efficiency — aroundthebend @ 8:24 am

When weGreg and Marlene’s addition began to plan a new house, we wanted to make it as energy-efficient as possible.  There are many ways to do so.  

As we explored the options, we decided that we really liked the idea of a strawbale house.  Friends had built an addition on to their urban house in Kitchener, Ontario (see the picture).  We visited some other strawbale houses around Ontario.  We bought the “bible” for strawbale building in our climate, More Strawbale Building.  We joined the Ontario Strawbale Building Coalition (OSBBC) and found an enthusiastic community of strawbale builders and home owners.  We took the leap.

When we say “strawbale house” we mean only that strawbales will form the insulation of our house and shape some of the design and aesthetics of the house.  We did not opt for a house where the bales form the actual load bearing structure.   Ours will be a modified post-and-beam structure with bales on edge as in-fill between the posts.  The walls are then plastered inside and outside as the finish (with appropriate detailing to ensure the structural and energy-efficiency integrity of the walls). 

There a number of good reasons to choose a strawbale home, including energy-efficiency.  See some of them are described by Harvest Homes; we like especially the high insulation, low embodied-energy, renewable resource, and do-it-yourself elements.  And the worries that some people have about mice, fire, etc are answered effectively by the folks at Camel’s Back Construction. They are the ones who also wrote the “bible” described above.” Here’s an excerpt which introduces strawbale building and the book.

 The OSBBC has a listing of over 75 strawbale homes in Ontario, and there is an international strawbale registry with over 1200 listings.

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