Straw Houses

Some friends of mine in Duluth (ahem of the hippie persuasion ahem) are considering building a straw house.

I'd never heard of such a thing. A house built of straw? It turns out that hay bales can be used as a construction material. It was common in the Great Plains when wood was expensive and hard to come by. They have several advantages. Not only is hay cheap, but the thickness of the walls provides great insulation. And the thick walls help provide some nice patterns: #197, thick walls (for latter modification); and #202, built-in seats at the windows.

It also turns out that straw houses can be quite beautiful.

Here's some links on them, including some books with nice photographs.

The Straw Bale House by by Athena Swentzell Steen, Bill Steen, and David Bainbridge.

The Beauty of Straw Bale Homes by Athena Swentzell Steen, and Bill Steen.

The New Strawbale Home by Catherine Wanek.

House of Straw - Straw Bale Construction Comes of Age by U.S. Department of Energy.

"Those who live in straw houses shouldn't blow down."