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New Straw Bale Home Helps Educate People About Climate Issues — 10 Comments

  1. Hi Kelly, I’m currently building a straw bale greenhouse with gravel filled earthbag foundation,and I’m wondering how you would recommend detailing the connection between the bags and the bales? I see three main options:
    1: Bales directly on the bags. Hopefully because they are gravel filled, moisture wicking up onto the bales wouldn’t be a problem.
    2: Bales on bags with a plastic vapour barrier in between.
    3: Build a wooden toe-up (out of 2x4s) on top of the bags. This is possible but it is challenging to get the 2x4s to sit evenly on the bags.

    • I would opt for option 2. Gravel bags should not wick moisture, but with straw one cannot be too careful. Another precaution for security would be to pin the first bales to the foundation with rebar rods driven through both.

      • Thanks for the reply! I’ve read about concerns that the rebar would be a vector for condensation. Do you share that concern or do you think it’s no problem?

        • I would expect a condensation problem to be unlikely, but if you are concerned you could use wooden or bamboo stakes.

          • Thank you again for your generosity with your time. Given the humid interior conditions of a greenhouse, what would you suggest for an interior plaster? We live in a semi-arid climate of BC. (12″ of moisture per year)

          • Earthen plasters can handle humidity very well, so this is an option, or an earthen plaster stabilized with some lime or cement.

  2. Ever heard of the three little pigs this is a child’s ferry tale but it is also a warning from our elders
    If you are the first little pig or the second little pig the big bad wolf will come and blow your house down it’s not a matter of if but when why would anyone waste there money on this???

    • A well built straw bale house will not easily be blown down and can last centuries if well maintained. They are also extremely energy efficient and comfortable to live in and utilize little industrial material to build.

    • This is only a concern if you live in an area with a lot of wolves with very high lung capacity. I think she’ll be ok.

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