Collection by Diana Budds

Material Focus: Straw Bales

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When it comes to ecologically minded building materials, straw bales are among the kindest (they involve repurposing waste material from the grain growing industry). And lest you fear the outcome of the Three Little Pigs fairy tale, rest assured that when done correctly straw bale homes are structurally sound. Beginning with the "Gotta Bale" story from our October 2012 issue, and ending with an off the grid Bluff, Utah, project, we've rounded up five modern homes constructed from straw.

Straw Dogs “Straw is basically a waste material,” says Tilt.
Now UC It In the kids’ rooms, the couple has made fine use of UC Santa Cruz dorm furniture—beds, armoires, and desks...
Ever aware of context, architect Henry Siegel says of his house, “A lot of architects’ buildings look better on a...
With temperatures exceeding 100 degrees in the summer, energy-efficient climate control was central to the design.
The entire house is made from slabs of prefabricated, formaldehyde-free compressed straw.
Upstairs, gallery windows frame the Rhine River.
Out back, the paved patio serves as the family's main dining room.
In the kitchen, a window over the stovetop lets daylight in, framing the front yard while keeping the neighboring house...
Nicholas sits in the shade of the roof; students cut and hand-welded thousands of reclaimed rebar pieces into a complex...
In wintertime, the rammed earth hallway wall serves as the central heating device, soaking up sunlight through...
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