Building a Light Clay Straw (Straw-Clay) House

Jacob’s light clay straw home
Jacob’s light clay straw home

“This is an introduction to light clay straw construction (a.k.a. “straw-clay”). In the summer of 2010, I started construction on my first house (20 ft. x 12 ft.). It was stud framed with light clay straw infill. I had helped with other natural building projects and had some conventional experience. This article is the product of all of my mistakes (and few successes) so that you, my fellow builder, do not have to walk the road that I have. Fortunately for y’all I built a chicken coop in 2011, and that helped me to learn more about building correctly with light clay straw. (One mistake being I should have done the coop first, but at least my chickens are happy.)

Straw-clay construction is not suitable for all buildings, but it is an easy building method, eco-friendly, and cheap. The straw provides insulation, and the clay slip gives some thermal mass. Before building, I suggest reading general construction, green building, framing, and foundation books. Clay-straw is more appropriate (in my opinion) for smaller buildings (>1000 sq. ft.) because of labor and time issues. In Germany, this type of construction is known as leichtlehm which translate to “light loam”. Light clay straw is akin to wattle and duab which has been used in Europe since the 12th century. After the second World War, straw-clay was used between structural members (studs), whereas traditionally the building was timber framed.”

Read the full article at the source: The Year of Mud
Red Earth Farms

1 thought on “Building a Light Clay Straw (Straw-Clay) House”

  1. Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the outstanding info you have here on this blog. I will be coming back to your website for more soon.


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