Straw bale buildings speak to a part of us that insists that we should be able to build our own homes with our own hands. We look at pictures of a bale wall being raised and immediately think: I could do that! Straw bale houses are easy to build, inexpensive, super energy efficient, environmentally friendly, attractive, and - most of al l - can be designed to match the builder's personal space needs, aesthetics, and budget. It's no wonder that straw bale houses are growing in popularity.
Most straw bale books do a great job enticing us with beautiful photographs and "selling" the idea of straw-bale building - but they don't adequately address the most critical issues faced by bale house builders. In Straw Bale Building, professional bale builders Peter Mack and Chris Magwood lead the potential builder through the entire process of building a bale structure, tackling all the practical issues; from how to find and choose bales; developing sound building plans; costs; roofing; electrical, plumbing, and heating systems; building code compliance and working with building inspectors; and special concerns for builders in northern climates.
For those who do not see their lives and their values reflected in "standard" homes, Straw Bale Building offers a wide variety of aesthetic and building options, from multi-storey luxury to elegant simplicity. Over 100 professionally illustrated drawings, plus b&w photos and building plans provide an abundance of creative and practical ideas for novice and experienced builders alike.
Down-to-earth and complete, Straw Bale Building makes the remarkable benefits of straw bale building available to anyone bitten by the straw bale"bug."
Peter Mack and Chris Magwood are professional bale house builders. Together they have constructed 15 straw bale houses and structures. They teach a popular, on-going straw bale building workshop in Ontario, Canada.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1: Why Build With Straw?
2: What Are Straw Bales?
3: The "Red Flag" Questions
4: Building Permits
5: The Hotly-Debated, Often-Distorted Question of Cost
6: Getting Focused