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How to build a straw bale home


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How to build a straw bale home

  1. 1. How to build a straw bale home <ul><li>While tending the garden. </li></ul>
  2. 2. Building site in February House site in February
  3. 3. House site in May.
  4. 4. Looking west across building site.
  5. 5. They look so fresh
  6. 6. The hole
  7. 7. Compacting complete
  8. 8. The batter boards determine the layout
  9. 9. Orienting the house to the sun is very important.
  10. 10. This part was really pleasant
  11. 11. Marking out the footings.
  12. 12. Building the footing forms was less fun.
  13. 13. Intricate intersections, lots of leveling and bending rebar .
  14. 14. We get the barley straw on the hottest day of the year.
  15. 15. Two trailers and a breakdown
  16. 16. This took the whole day, 500 bales at 38 degrees.
  17. 17. You may think the bales are a little premature.
  18. 18. We have yet to pour the footings, the plastic bottles are to keep the site safe, impaling an eyeball is not in the budget.
  19. 19. Suddenly, the forms are poured and dry, the plastic bottles are still in place to protect us.
  20. 20. We are now ready to put insulation and vapor barrier on the ground.
  21. 21. Viola 2.5 inches of foam.
  22. 22. Now we pour some concrete on the foam.
  23. 23. ICF’s are really popular now, it is a great way to pour foundation walls.
  24. 24. Checking that the top of the foundation wall is level.
  25. 25. As if by magic the foundation walls are in place.
  26. 26. The pony walls will hold up the TJI’s , and that is what holds up the floor.
  27. 27. The temperature now is around 40 degrees so an umbrella is very helpful.
  28. 28. 5000 screws and no squeaks. If possible everything is on wheels, umbrella, plywood and us.
  29. 29. The river is useful for cooling down.
  30. 30. Some framers help us to stand up the trusses
  31. 31. The roof line is a bit complex .
  32. 32. The framing is complete.
  33. 33. Strapping the roof took way too long.
  34. 34. Shirley backfills, and I stay on the roof for a month.
  35. 35. Some help, and then……….
  36. 36. Skin the roof
  37. 37. It might look like I’m resting, but we stacked ‘em to the rafters.
  38. 38. Finally a roof.
  39. 39. The straw has all been tested with a moisture meter.
  40. 40. This is a big moment, the first bale.
  41. 41. There were many of these moments, measuring and cutting took up to one and a half hours per bale.
  42. 42. Gradually the walls take shape.
  43. 43. The house is held up by post and beams, with many diagonals preventing the whole thing from falling over.
  44. 44. In some places the bales slide right in.
  45. 45. We have four 45 degree angles in this house, it is not recommended but we did it anyway.
  46. 46. The straw part is really coming along.
  47. 47. No straw bale builder can get by without a straw mallet.
  48. 48. The construction site is very unconventional.
  49. 49. We are getting tired of straw now.
  50. 50. From across the river it looks….. Strange.
  51. 51. We surround the house with tarps so work can continue all winter.
  52. 52. Tar paper is placed over all the exposed wood.
  53. 53. Inside, we apply stucco mesh and sew it to the bales.
  54. 54. Once the mesh is done, the second huge jobs begins……….plastering.
  55. 55. Shirley mixed ALL the plaster so as to keep a consistent mix .
  56. 56. As my hat says, I unleashed my creativity and it escaped.
  57. 57. The bales beg to be finished.
  58. 58. Notice the boxes above the windows, these we designed to help light travel up as it comes through the windows.
  59. 59. Me travelling through a window to get onto an icy roof in November.
  60. 60. Our first Christmas at 15 below.
  61. 61. Laying out the interior walls before plastering, it’s too cold to plaster anyway.
  62. 62. A good look at the window detail.
  63. 118. A view from the bluff’s
  64. 119. This photo was taken in the summer 2009 after the windows and plaster were finished.
  65. 120. The End <ul><li>Although lots of finishing is </li></ul><ul><li>yet to be done on the house……. </li></ul>