Latest Articles in Straw Bale

modern straw bale home

Material Focus: Straw Bales

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.
October 10, 2012
Modern green home clad in straw-bale with photovoltaic panels

Green Zero-Energy Family Home in Santa Cruz

How an unfussy, nearly zero-energy family home in Santa Cruz, California, wound up with hay bales in the walls, a state-of-the-art heat pump system, and six very happy residents.
September 17, 2012
siegel residence thumbnail

Hay Is for Horses, Straw Is for Houses

In the Napa Valley, one sustainable residence elegantly demonstrates straw bale technology.
September 10, 2009
The campaign for the greenest school in America: yet another reason why hope lies in youth.

Teaching by Example

When the Charlottesville Waldorf School bought 13 undeveloped acres outside Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2002, the idea was simply to build a permanent home for the school’s 130 students, replacing the rented space closer to the center of town that the school had outgrown.
April 13, 2009
At the heart of the Colorado Plateau is the Navajo Nation—a 27,000-square-mile sovereign state lying in the Four Corners region, in Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. It’s here, along a dirt road, miles from anything and anybody that Rosie Joe’s house shimmer

No Grid in Sight

Most deserts are dry and dusty expanses of blue skies, bleached soil, and rulerflat horizons. The Colorado Plateau is not one of them. This is a land of stunning contradictions, where thousand-foot rock monoliths jut like raised fists from flat riverbeds, and traffic-light-green foliage glows on stoplight-red soil. The sky here appears not blue but bright white, a flashbulb burst through squinted eyes.
February 26, 2009
the strohaus thumbnail

Straw Tech

When Anders Stokholm asked his old friend Felix Jerusalem to design his family’s new home in Eschenz, a northern Swiss village on the Rhine River and Untersee Lake, the client and architect agreed that they didn’t want to disturb the ancient Roman artifacts buried in the property’s wet soil. But they did want something both modern and green. Jerusalem’s solution, the Strohhaus, beautifully merges the old with the new: The structure floats above the saturated ground on pilings—–referencing building methods used in the area thousands of years ago, according to Zurich-based Jerusalem. And except for its concrete core, the entire house is made from slabs of prefabricated, formaldehyde-free compressed straw.
January 22, 2009
pyatt kahn house exterior street view  1

Post Bale

Boulder, Colorado, straddles a dynamic geographical border where miles of Rocky Mountains descend into flat plains that stretch all the way to the Appalachians. With four picture-perfect seasons and more sunny days per year than Miami, the little university town has become a big draw for young families seeking an idyllic place to raise their kids.
January 15, 2009