Strawbale Getaway – Crestone, Colorado

Exterior view of the Strawbale Getaway in Colorado
Exterior view of the Strawbale Getaway in Colorado

“This strawbale home was designed to relate to the surrounding environment and serve as a welcoming retreat for friends and family. The multinational owners, wanted to uphold the inherent character of the majestic site – located at the cusp of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the San Luis Valley floor – throughout the process and in the final result. Designed to merge into its natural setting and link occupants with the outdoors, this Colorado home was also constructed to be energy efficient, sustainable and green in all aspects of the process.

Interior view of the Strawbale Getaway
Interior view of the Strawbale Getaway

– The longitudinal layout and low profile design harmonizes with the surrounding environment and allows natural light to reach all interior spaces
-Hydronic solar panels, and passive solar techniques including a heat storing sand bed, supply over 80% of the energy
– The use of strawbale reduced the amount of wood framing needed for construction and provides a high level of insulation
– Natural features and vegetation on site were protected throughout the construction process, restored, or incorporated in the design
– The steady pace of the project allowed for the owners, family and friends to collaborate and be involved throughout the process

Today, the home draws friends, family and guests in from across the world as a place of retreat, and gathering – to slow down, relax and connect to nature.”

Consultants and Collaborators:
Modern Primitive Design (General Contractor)
The Ascent Group (Structural Engineering)
TEEG, Inc. (Mechanical Engineering)
David Lauer Photography (Photographer)
More at the source: Gettliffe Architecture
More photos at

8 thoughts on “Strawbale Getaway – Crestone, Colorado”

  1. my name is Michael, currently looking at vacant lots for sale in crestone Colorado. Looking for people who are into creative and progressive sustainable building , green building. so many choices on how to build I would like to be practical with quality and not spend more money than I need to.

    • Hi Michael,
      I just got back from Crestone 3 weeks ago. I am a structural engineer in FL but my colleague is an architect in Durango- Telluride with his third foot in Crestone. He is building there, well acquainted with all of it, and is progressive. Utilitits are in already.
      ron AT

  2. Hi! Beautiful home! We are interested in buying land in the crestone area. We were wondering if you had any requirements by the city for water and septic and if you know if there are any regulations on how long your land sits empty until you build or if it is ok to camp on it in the meantime? We are interested in the off grid lifestyle but are having trouble finding information on these topics for the area. We are looking into viewing a lot next month but would not be able to build for another 5-10 years. Would appreciate any guidance you can give us. Thank you!

  3. Wow! This is a wonderful home! Do these homes need to be designed for seismic in that area? We tested a straw bale house once on a shake table (at the University of Nevada, Reno) and it did surprisingly well!

    • The seismic risk is low in that area and so no special provisions are required.

      That was a fabulous test in Reno. I’ve recommended that video many times. Right now a large part of my work involves reconstruction in Nepal, and that test has helped us promote earthbag building there. All 55 earthbag buildings survived the earthquake with little or no damage. Now hundreds of earthbag projects are being planned.


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