Building with Straw
Building with Straw
"I believe that a revolution can begin from this one strand of straw ... I have come to realize the weight and power of this straw. For me, this revolution is very real."
— Masanobu Fukuoka
Building with Straw Workshop
Over the years we have evolved what we consider to be a unique hybrid system of integrating straw bale walls with clay and lime plasters. It combines the best of what were called “load-bearing” walls and other “in-fill” methods where different types of structural supports are used. It is a very effective and practical utilization of the best of both worlds. At the same time, the same components can be utilized in combination with any “in-fill” wall system. It is highly flexible in all respects.
This course is intended for anyone considering a straw bale house that incorporates a large percentage of clay in the building process. The course is well suited to owner-builders, professionals or those who would like to supervise the construction of their home so that they can be well informed to make good decisions during the design and build process. The course will help each person define a practical and realistic approach that is uniquely based on his or her skill level, available time and resources. Participants are welcome to bring their floor plans for group design discussions and comments.
We encourage small, handcrafted and artistic buildings that are uniquely personal in character and at the same time, energy efficient and matched to local climatic conditions primarily through passive conditioning.
* This course begins with orientation and dinner Thursday evening
Bale Basics: Where to locate bales, How to modify bales, How to Measure bales
Discussion of various Bale Building Systems, from Load-Bearing to In-fill and Hybrid.
Compression Test: Figure out how much bales will compress to get measurements for Window and Door bucks as well as for bamboo pinning.
Clay Basics: How to Identify clay, Where to find clay, How to Mix a highly flexible base / sculpting plaster coat that can go on as thick as needed over bales.
Mount Window and Door Bucks
Stack Bale walls and learn corner tying knot.
Cut Bamboo pins and tie them onto surface of bale walls.
Discuss top plate and place on top of bale walls.
Compression using threaded rods.
Plaster bales with clay base coat.