Greening Our Lives,
Community & Church
After months of
planning, our current garage has been enlarged with a straw bale
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
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
Finally there is the community factor. People can be more involved
in the building and thus increase their sense of
satisfaction with the product.