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Strawbale User Group

This group is to share info and experiences of strawbale building as part of a more sustainable future.

Group Type: Educational
Members: 14
Latest Activity: Jan 26, 2013


I have been inspired by strawbale building and have built a strawbale house in Portugal and and have made a strawbale community NING site I am keen to promote strawbale building as a part of the transition and permaculture movements. Please share links and projects here and on our Global Strawbale Community NING site.


Discussion Forum

Any upcoming local trainings in Strawbale construction?

Started by Joshua Brock Oct 27, 2011. 0 Replies

Just curious...would love to get my hands dirty with learning by doing!JoshuaContinue

What about wrapped bales?

Started by Steve Ivy. Last reply by Ben Graham Nov 14, 2010. 1 Reply

Do any of you have experiences or comments about possible pros or cons for using wrapped straw bales (either square or round?)I have this idea for using well wrapped straw bales as a super insulated…Continue

Tags: insulated, floors, hay, bale, straw

Straw Bale Roofs???

Started by Steve Ivy. Last reply by Les Squires -- Webmaster Sep 18, 2010. 1 Reply

I have been thinking for a while or ways that one could use bales to insulate a roof.Basically I am not sure about what I am coming up with... I just know there has to be a way to cover a roof with…Continue

Tags: shipping, container, housing, foundation, rubble

Technical drawings of strawbale house by Vera Filipa Ripley

Started by Christopher Ripley Sep 11, 2010. 0 Replies

Here is the link to the blog about our house in Portugal

Tags: architecture, sustainable, construction, eco, strawbale

Daily Global Scan for Strawbale Activities

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Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Strawbale User Group to add comments!

Comment by Les Squires -- Webmaster on February 5, 2012 at 7:58pm

$1400 / 2br - Strawbale hideaway (Outside Tesuque)

Date: 2012-02-04, 6:58PM MST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Soulful home for rent outside Tesuque on 12 acres bordering the National forest, with a live stream, surrounded by ponderosa pines, gambel oaks, and cottonwoods. Hiking in all directions, including a trail up to waterfalls. Two bedrooms plus a large study, 1½ baths, 1800 square feet. Brick and white oak floors, adobe plaster, wood beam ceilings, kiva fireplace, lots of light, large flagstone patio, stained glass, piano. High speed internet throughout house. Washer/dryer, dishwasher, gas stove, radiant in-floor heat. Twenty minutes from DeVargas Mall, in Rio en Medio. Pets negotiable. Available furnished or unfurnished. $1400/month. 

  • Location: Outside Tesuque
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
image 0 image 1
image 2 image 3

PostingID: 2829656340

Comment by Les Squires -- Webmaster on January 28, 2012 at 8:45pm
Comment by Les Squires -- Webmaster on January 28, 2012 at 8:45pm

Szilard Kozan's Page - Planet Straw Bale

Szilard Kozan's Page on Planet Straw Bale... Sponsored by Home · My Page ... Szilard Kozan is now a member of Planet Straw Bale yesterday ...
Comment by Les Squires -- Webmaster on July 21, 2011 at 10:04am

Christopher, I temporarily substituted a global scan for STRAWBALE -- subject to your approval.  The idea is to give a wider view of what's happening in the world -- for vendors and customers in your user group.  I suggest you move your linked materials up into one of the boxes above.  Let me know what you think.  We can remount if you wish.

Comment by Steve Ivy on September 19, 2010 at 11:43pm
Below is a link to a very interesting (and totally patent free) idea for how to build beautiful load bearing walls cheap and fast without big forms or months of manual labor.

Basically it is mixture of any low clay soil with

100 parts Soil
10 parts Gypsum (Plaster of Paris)
2 parts Lime
20 parts Water* (portion of water will vary depending on soil moisture)

Note that silt in the sail and a little clay is OK so actually most soils (other than those right around Dallas maybe) are just fine with no sorting other than using soil free of organic matter.

The result of this mixture is a structural material that can be cast into a beautiful block that will set up in about 20 minutes and that has most of it's strength within an hour.

So you can mix up blocks and place them at the same time. No need for lots of hot dry sun, large storage areas, and long drying times like with adobe.
And when you get done you have an envoronmentally benign block that is much more humidity and erosion resistant than adobe.

It is faster, much cheaper, and much more envononmentally friendly than concrete. It breaths much better than concrete so it doesn't hold moisture for mold growth (the in building humidity also stays much closer to the human comfort zone so little or no air conditioning is necessary in summer or winter. If insulation is necessary it can be easily cast in place with this "cast earth" material on both sides of some straw or an insulating foam block.

Basically while this material will never set up as hard or strong as concrete it doesn't need to be that stron for walls becasue it still provides more than enough strength to easily hold up a roof and three floors if you want.

This is also much more environmentally sound since gypsum is 100% recyclable and besides it only takes a tiny amount of the heat energy to make that it takes to make concrete. Gypsum is genuinely recyclable but concrete really can only be used to replace aggregate.

All one would have to do to recycle this material is grind it up and use specific gravity in a slurry to sort out the dirt, gypsum, and lime. Then you would dry out the gypsum and cook it for a few hours at 150 degrees C (just 50 degrees C over the temperature of boiling water) and it would be good to go again.

I am really curious why this hasn't gotten more press since it sounds like it is really green, really cheap, really easy to do, and really fast (all at the same time.)
Comment by Steve Ivy on September 19, 2010 at 11:42pm
I know the name of the "Straw Bale" users group is "Straw Bale" but I also know many people refer to the material as "hay bale" and so I was hoping that

hay bale

and maybe even

hay bail

the misspellings should work in the search engine to place people here.

One more thought is that I have many building ideas I would like to
discuss other than ones involving straw bales and so I was wondering
if there should be a more generic energy efficient construction group
instead that registers a whole bunch of alternative building keywords?

I am going to post another really cool idea about "cast earth" to the
straw bale group but it doesn't really necessarily belong there. I just
think they will be interested.

Thanks: Steve
Comment by Ben Graham on September 16, 2010 at 3:04pm
Good to cross link these groups. Permaculture should be triangulated here as well. It would be great to see more strawbale and natural building projects come out of the Transition movement. It seems like a good fit.
Strawbale and natural building activity is alive and well in the US. There are many links and networks already.
Northeast Strawbalers and Natural Builders can check out for a list of builders.
That's Natural Builders Northeast.
Also I have pictures of strawbale projects, info and links at
The most strawbaling is happening in southwest and up west coast. There's a good contingent through Ontario Strawbale Network also.
Don't forget, building a strawbale house, or any house, in Vermont is not like building one in New Mexico or Illinois.
8 things to know.....
Depends on where you are building. Start at your site.
Comment by Les Squires -- Webmaster on September 15, 2010 at 6:47pm
"Members Mentioning STRAWBALE in their Member Profiles" has been added to this Strawbale User Group. Update your profile if you have experience with Strawbales that you wish to make known to the User Group.
Comment by Les Squires -- Webmaster on September 15, 2010 at 6:38pm
The Strawbale Event in Pine Ridge Lakota reservation, SD has been cross referenced on this Strawbale User Group.
Comment by Les Squires -- Webmaster on September 11, 2010 at 12:46pm
Welcome Christopher. Welcome Strawbale Community. This is where we build the bridge between your Strawbale Community and the Transition Community... Let's start pasting in the essentials from Strawbale. What 8-10 things do we need to know...

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