“An introduction to the passive solar design features of my strawbale tiny house. This 450 sq ft house uses south facing windows to heat itself during winter, supplementing heat provided by a wood stove. Roman-style thermal curtains on all windows help to conserve heat. A cantilevered second floor and overhangs keep the sun out during warmer times of the year. This is one of many passive solar strawbale houses at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.”
Free journals published by the California Straw Building Association are available on their website as PDF downloads. Only issues from 2007-2012 are available at this time. I’m not sure if the journal is still published. The issues I looked at are quite good. To give you an idea of the content, the first article in the list is titled ‘Straw Bale House Designed by CASBA Members Arkin Tilt Architects Wins Fine Homebuilding Magazine’s “Best New Home” of 2012’.
“A few months ago we raised a strawbale roundhouse with a reciprocal roof as part of our first Natural Building Workshop at Milkwood Farm.
Huff ‘n’ Puff’s golden rules for designing and building your strawbale home:
1. Practice on a test wall before you build.
2. Keep your buildings small.
3. Do not design a two-storey home.
4. Inspect your bales at source before you buy and have them delivered the day before you commence the wall raising.
“In August 2008 we saw ourselves back on the plane to Siberia. This was our second trip as a group of builders and teachers to this far and exotic place we now consider our most remote home away from home. Paul Koppana (Crestone, CO), Cindy Smith (Durango, CO) and myself, Jeff Ruppert (McKinleyville, CA) were much more comfortable this time traveling half-way around the globe having made a trip for the same reasons back in the summer of 2005.
“The current code approved method for straw bale construction that can resist wind and seismic forces is not shown in the International Residential Code, IRC or the International Building Code, IBC.
However, it is shown as an appendix to some state residential code such as Oregon Residential code, appendix R, Straw-Bale Construction. The provision of this appendix is applicable to single family detached structures and related accessory structures as defined in Section R101.2, utilizing straw-bales in the construction of wall systems. So, if someone wants to build a straw bale home without the need to hire a licensed Engineer or Architect, he/she will need to check with their local building department to see if they have adopted the appendix.