Replace Old Yurt with Strawbale Roundhouse

Question from Kristen, one of our readers: Any tips or pointers for building a strawbale roundhouse on post and piers?? I have a yurt with a permanent post and pier foundation with concrete piers going 2 feet down and 1.5 feet wide. I want to take down the yurt and build a strawbale house, and since the floor is already round use the layout I have…Thanks for any direction as my husband and I will be doing this ourselves and enlisting our 16 year old son and any friends we can have come help.

Owen: This would be extremely easy to do since you already have the piers and floor to raise the bales off the ground. 99% of what you need to know is in Matt’s Myhrman’s free strawbale PDF Build it With Bales.

Tips include:
– Use one layer of gravel bags before stacking the bales to help protect the straw from moisture damage.
– Make sure the gravel bags and bales overhang the deck 1-2” so water is not wicked under the wall.
– Use tightly compacted bales, not loose bales.
– Build a ‘ladder bond beam’ on top of the bale wall in the shape of an octagon, etc. Screw it all together with metal straps. Then tie it down to lower bales so it can’t blow off.
– Create a wide roof overhang of 2’-3’ to protect the bales from rain and snow. Attach the roof to the bond beam. Roof shape can be whatever you want.
– Insulate the floor and ceiling well and you’ll have a near zero energy home.

3 thoughts on “Replace Old Yurt with Strawbale Roundhouse”

  1. Hi Owen,
    I want to build a small 600sqft round straw bale home in the Adirondacks. My building inspector is on board but I need stamped plans. Do you know anyone in upstate NY who is able to help or where I should look ? So far every Architect I have spoken with is not interested in a small owner build. Any info would be greatly appreciated.


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