Greening Our Lives,
Community & Church

Straw Bale Building

After months of planning, our current garage has been enlarged with a straw bale addition!

Why straw bale?

We wanted to provide a very practical program where participants could learn how to build their own building, even a house. Shawn Hayter (pictured right), from Green Planet Homes, was a wonderful teacher and a fine builder!

Participants worked willingly through two workshops, one to build the frame and the second to do all of the straw work and stucco. We were very fortunate to have great weather and were even more fortunate to have the help of Ivan and Adrian Wurtz, who completed the roof construction before the second workshop.

There are many advantages to straw bale construction, for example:


Traditional “stick frame” buildings of 2x6 construction usually have an insulating value of R14. With a properly insulated roof, straw bale enables a person to build a warm winter home with an R factor of R35 to R50!


The high R factor of straw has the added benefit of keeping the building cool in the summer!


Straw buildings utilize an annually renewable agricultural by-product.


The interior plaster of straw bale buildings increase the “thermal mass” of the building, which helps to stabilize interior temperature fluctuations.


Big thick walls mean nice quiet places.


Conventional foundations and roofs can be used with straw bale buildings.


Finally there is the community factor. People can be more involved in the building and thus increase their sense of satisfaction with the product.

Update: Shawn Hayter is returning to Calling Lakes
for a Phase 3 Program: Straw Bale Finishing Techniques (June 4-5, 2010)


Other articles from this Echo:

Letter from Linda Anderson, Executive Director of Calling Lakes Centre

Courage to Lead: Circle of Trust Retreat

Greening Our Lives, Community and Church

    ~  Small steps lead to deep change

Our Thanks!

In Memory of the Ferguson's




Copyright © 2006 Calling Lakes Centre
Box 159, Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan Canada S0G 1S0
Phone: 306-332-5691 Fax:306-332-5264
Email: office@callinglakes.ca