Strawbale Building in Phoenix
Building with Straw Workshop
This 4-day workshop will be hosted in Phoenix, Arizona, where students will participate in building a strawbale structure on our friends Susan and Silverio Ontiveros’ land.
Over the years we have evolved what we consider to be a unique hybrid system of integrating straw bale walls with clay and lime plasters. It combines the best of what were called “load-bearing” walls and other “in-fill” methods where different types of structural supports are used. It is a very effective and practical utilization of the best of both worlds. At the same time, the same components can be utilized in combination with any “in-fill” wall system. It is highly flexible in all respects.
This course is intended for anyone considering a straw bale house that incorporates a large percentage of clay in the building process. The course is well suited to beginners but also owner-builders, professionals or those who would like to supervise the construction of their home so that they can be well informed to make good decisions during the design and build process. The course will help each person define a practical and realistic approach that is uniquely based on his or her skill level, available time and resources. Participants are welcome to bring their floor plans for group design discussions and comments.
We encourage small, handcrafted and artistic buildings that are uniquely personal in character and at the same time, energy efficient and matched to local climatic conditions primarily through passive conditioning.
For examples see our many strawbale buildings at Canelo.
Register by emailing Susan Ontiveros at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bale Basics: Where to locate bales, How to modify bales, How to Measure bales.
Discussion of various Bale Building Systems, from Load-Bearing to In-fill and Hybrid.
Compression Test: Figure out how much bales will compress to get measurements for Window and Door bucks as well as for bamboo pinning.
Clay Basics: How to Identify clay, Where to find clay, How to Mix a highly flexible base / sculpting plaster coat that can go on as thick as needed over bales.
Mount Window and Door Bucks.
Stack Bale walls and learn corner tying knot.
Cut Bamboo pins and tie them onto surface of bale walls.
Discuss top plate and place on top of bale walls.
Compression using threaded rods.
Base Coat Plastering