Okay, I’ll have to admit that sometimes I watch Huell Howser on TV talking about all the wonderful things that California has to offer. This past weekend he talked about straw bale houses which help conserve on heating and cooling bills as much as 80-percent over typical insulation.
Since it is Earth Day 2010, I thought I would check to see who else is talking about straw bale houses. It looks like there is some chatter at STLToday and USAToday over this rejuvenated type of building.
Straw bale houses have actually been around for years starting in the old days in Oklahoma where there were few other building materials around. Those were pretty crude.
Now, however, straw bale houses, like the name implies are made of waste straw. This means, when bought in bulk the bales are fairly cheap. There are several designs for straw bale houses. One design uses the straw as part of the structure of the house where the roof sits on top and the straw supports it and settles over time.
Another type of home uses a basic wood structure and then straw bales are used as insulation for the home. Clay is applied by hand to make an adobe style dwelling that is quiet, well insulated and unique in style and design.
If done correctly, the straw bale house can be cheaper to build that a traditional home, especially if the homeowner puts some sweat equity into the building process. So, happy Earth Day and go forth and build a straw home and invite all of your friends to help out.