Our Straw House



Here are short descriptions of some of the books & videos we found really helpful (as usual, no particular order):

Building with Awareness by Ted Owens (book & DVD)
This book and DVD documents the building of Ted Owens' house in New Mexico.  His house is located in an area that gets plenty of heat, but it snows there too.  He combines Straw Bale, Adobe & Passive Solar to build his home. There is a lot of detailed technical information here.  You can really tell the book & DVD are well thought out:  each page of the book gives you the corresponding time index into the DVD.

More Straw Bale Building by Chris Magwood, Peter Mack and Tina Therrien
A Straw Bale building book written by Canadians!  There is lots of technical Straw Bale information here, but there are practical issues covered too, such as getting a building permit, budgeting, septic and electrical systems.

Straw Bale Construction by Andrew Morrison
We found this DVD really helpful - just being able to watch the process really helped us visualize what we would need to do. Andrew has two other DVDs that we found helpful too, one on plastering, another on concrete slab foundations.

Serious Straw Bale by Paul Lacinski and Michel Bergeron
More Canadian perspective here!  The different types of Straw Bale structures and plasters are discussed.  There is also information regarding moisture issues, interior floors & walls, as well as profiles of existing Straw Bale structures.

The Solar House by Dan Chiras
We will be using the sun to reduce our heating costs.  At the same time, we are hoping to avoid installing an air conditioning system.  Dan's book has been invaluable in planning this aspect of our construction.  He also warns of the many possible pitfalls too.