Thursday, April 14, 2011

Straw Bale Shop

In the last post I introduced you to the Black Range Lodge 
now let's take a look at the newest straw bale structure
 that Catherine Wanek has built there.

My previous post is: The Black Range Lodge,
and you can also click on the tab for Straw Bale And Straw Clay
 under labels in the right side bar.

This shop is partially solar heated
 as you can see the south facing bank of windows in the above photo.

The west end of the shop
  catches the rain from the summer thunderstorms...

...and in the above photo of the corner
 you can see the difference in the clay stucco.

The left half is worn by the rain but the right half isn't.

The weathering leaves a nice texture,
with the added straw showing through.

The straw helps protect from the rain
 washing down the adobe stucco.

The adobe stucco helps the straw bale walls breathe,
 preventing the buildup of any moisture in the walls.

This is the outside truth window that shows the underlying straw bale.

Catherine had the bales stacked on their edges
 instead of the more common style of laying them flat.

Inside the truth window shows the green strap
that extends from the foundation ...

...up to the manufactured wood I-beam used as the bond beam.

Interestingly the straw bale walls here are load bearing,
whereas most straw bale buildings are done with a post and beam structure. 

The post and beam creates a very sturdy building 
but it's nice to see this load bearing wall as an option.

The weight of the bond beam on the straw bales helps to stabilize the walls 
creating a stronger wall system.

For the roof Catherine used manufactured trusses 
that were engineered to create a usable attic space.

Check out Catherine's website:,
as well as her books: The New Strawbale Home,

Next time we will take a look at a beautiful straw bale home
 at the Black Range lodge.