Build It With Bales

Build It With Bales

Authors: Matts Myhrman and S. O. McDonald

One of the original books on straw bale contrstuction

Now available as a series of free PDFs thanks to the Authors

Build It With Bales – full book

Front Cover through Q&A (13 pages, includes table of contents, intro, how to use)

BIWB instruction page

BIWB Part One

Build It With Bales Part Two: Steps 1-3

Build It With Bales Part Two: Steps 4-6

Build It With Bales Part Two: Steps 7-8

Build It With Bales Non-Loadbearing Option

Small Strawbale: Natural Homes, Projects & Designs

Small Strawbale: Natural Homes, Projects & DesignsAuthors: Athena & Bill Steen and Wayne Bingham

Publisher: Gibbs Smith

Paperback: 240 pages

ISBN-10: 1586855158

ISBN-13: 978-1586855154

Order From: Amazon.com

or direct from the publisher.

Review from Mark Piepkorn, former editor of The Last Straw Journal:

A copy of the new book Small Strawbale: Natural Homes, Projects & Designs by Athena & Bill Steen and Wayne Bingham, published by Gibbs Smith, came into the office today. It’s gorgeous, like all the projects the Steens involve themselves with – and, as usual, it opens doors beyond strawbale. Love them for that.

Chapters include Garden Walls & Fences, Open-Air Structures, Greenhouses, Canelo Outbuildings (that’s their place), Tiny Studios & Meditation Retreats, The Shed Roof, The Gable Roof, Small Houses, and Clustered Compounds.

Most of the photos are sumptuous, the accompanying text insightful and inspiring – not at all overbearing. It’s not a how to *build* book, but a *how* to build book. It was an excellent surprise to see the Lander’s beautiful Shimizu-gaki bamboo gate featured (and later in the book their home, with a photo of them that makes me miss them even more), several of Athena’s stunning murals, and – Jack’s Flat! Kudos to Mr. Glassford!

This book fires my imagination and gives me joy.

The Last Straw

The Last Straw JournalAuthors: various

Publisher: Green Prairie Foundation for Sustainability

Order From: The Last Straw Journal

The Last Straw Journal is a (theoretically) quarterly journal of strawbale and natural building. Issues have been somewhat sporadic over the last several years due to health issues of the publisher, but don’t let that deter you – there are 60+ issues so far, all available as back issues in one form or another, and pretty much all of which contain good useful material on strawbale construction, plaster, foundations, etc, etc.

PDF copies have been available for a number of years, and they’re encouraging all subscribers to purchase PDFs if possible in order to reduce shipping and printing costs.

The first 40 issues are compiled on a single CD.

 

Buildings of Earth and Straw : Structural Design for Rammed Earth and Straw Bale Architecture

Buildings of Earth and Straw : Structural Design for Rammed Earth and Straw Bale Architecture

Author(s): Bruce King

Publisher: Chelsea Green

ISBN: 0964471817

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Buildings of Earth and Straw : Structural Design for Rammed Earth and Straw Bale Architecture

Paperback, 169 pages
Publication date: April 1997

Chelsea Green’s The Rammed Earth House and The Straw Bale House chronicle the possibilities and realities of straw bale and rammed earth construction. Buildings of Earth and Strawfills in the gaps for professional builders, contractors, engineers, inspectors, lenders, and architectural students. It includes special construction requirements of earth and straw, design capabilities and limitations of these materials, and documentation of testing data for use in addressing the concerns of officials. This book offers the nuts and bolts of rammed earth and straw bale building techniques, and why they are so spectacular, durable, and earth-friendly.

Review

“Bruce King has produced a book that is both long overdue and quite timely. While I find most technical books to be dry, uninteresting, and difficult to read, Bruce has managed to provide technical information in an accessible and entertaining manner. Although parts of his book will admittedly require engineering training to understand, even the uninitiated builder will find a wealth of usable material here.”
Bob Fowler, FAIA, PE, PBO past Chairman, International Conference of Building Officials, founding member, International Codes Council

“A revolution in environmentally friendly house construction is arriving. In this book, Bruce King explores the details and methods for building durable and safe earth and straw houses.”
Sim Van der Ryn, Architect, Educator, Author of Ecological Design

 

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Who Would Want to Read This Book, and Why?
Earth and Straw: Natural Companions
What We Will and Will Not Talk About
A Footnote About Bamboo…

Part One: BASICS

Abbreviations and Acronyms
Glossary
Structures and Forces

Physical Forces That Act On Structures
Some Other Variables
Foundations
Gravity Loads
Lateral Loads
In-plane Forces
Out-of-plane Forces
Earthquake Loads
Other Lateral Force Systems

Part Two: EARTH

The Material

Stabilized Earth
Rammed Earth
Gunearth
Stabilized Earth Mix Design–A Case Study

density and chemistry tests
compressive strength tests
moisture exposure tests
bond strength tests
fastener tests
admixture tests
absorptivity tests
erosion and wear resistance tests
Analysis

Design in Non-seismic Areas
Design in Seismic Areas
Foundations
Bond Beams
Lateral Loads
Analysis Method
Design and Construction Considerations

Stabilized Earth
Rammed Earth
Gunearth
Sample Calculations

Case 1: Seismic zone 2B

check h/t ratio
axial compressive stress at top of footing
Case 2: Seismic zone 4, wall cantilevered

check h/t ratio
horizontal earthquake load
compressive bending stress
shear stress
tensile bending stress in reinforcing
Case 3: Seismic zone 4, same wall restrained at top

horizontal earthquake load
design fc
compressive bending stress
shear stress
tensile bending stress in reinforcing
wall connection at top
Conclusions
Appendix E-1: Soil References
Appendix E-2: Soil-cement References
Appendix E-3: Sample Specification

Part Three: STRAW

The Material

Straw
Bales
Bale Variables
Bale Wall Types
Test Results–Straw Bale and Wall Properties

Bou-Ali test, Tucson, Arizona
SHB AGRA test, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Ship Harbour Project test, Nova Scotia
Fibrehouse Limited test, Ottawa, Ontario
Analysis

Load-bearing Straw-bale Walls
Gravity (Vertical) Loading
Lateral Loading: Wind
Lateral Loading: Earthquake
Non-load-bearing Straw-bale Walls
Design and Construction Considerations

Bales and Pinning
Wall Settling
Moisture
Fire
Sample Calculations

Case 1: Load-bearing Walls

design for bale bearing and precompression
check plaster skin in compression
design for out-of-plane shear
design for in-plane shear
Case 2: Non-load-bearing Walls

design for bale bearing and precompression
design for out-of-plane shear
design for in-plane shear
Conclusions
Appendix S-1: Straw Panels

Pyramod International, Inc., City of Industry, California
Stramit, U.S.A. L.L.C., Perryton, Texas
BioFab, Redding, California
Meadowood, Albany, Oregon
Conclusions
Appendix S-2: California Straw-bale Code
References

General
Stabilized Earth
Straw
Seismic Zone Map of the United States
Unit Conversion Tables

Base Units
SI Prefixes
SI Derived Unites with Special Names
Conversion Factors

Index

The Straw Bale House: Designing and Building with a Resource-Efficient Material

The Straw Bale House: Designing and Building with a Resource-Efficient Material

Author(s): Athena and Bill Steen, David Bainbridge, David Eisenberg

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

Paperback: 320 pages

ISBN: 0930031717

ISBN-13: 978-0930031718

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The Straw Bale House: Designing and Building with a Resource-Efficient Material

by Athena and Bill Steen, David Bainbridge, with David. Eisenberg.

Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 1995.

This is a comprehensive 300 page manual providing a broad overview of straw bale construction, and its related components. Loaded with over 250 black & white and color photos, illustrations and sample floor plans, it profiles a large collection of straw bale houses. The book contains a brief history, benefits and concerns, basic considerations (including passive solar), a how-to for bale wall systems, and options for foundations, floors, doors and windows, roofs, and wall finishes.

 

Get a leg up on the first Little Pig with The Straw Bale House, your guide to inexpensive, durable, earth-friendly construction that will stand up to much more than the Big Bad Wolf. Authors Athena Swentzell Steen and Bill Steen founded the Canelo Project, which promotes innovative building; David Bainbridge is a California restoration ecologist; and David Eisenberg is an alternative-materials builder who pioneered straw bale wall testing. Between them, they have encyclopedic knowledge of their subject. The book is comprehensive, broadly covering why and how to build with straw and then focusing on the details, which are both intellectually and aesthetically delightful.Beside being cheap, clean, and lightweight, straw also provides advantages like energy efficiency and resistance to seismic stresses. For the nervous Martha Stewart types, there are scads of black-and-white and color plates of strikingly beautiful interiors and exteriors from New Mexico to southern France. Both new and experienced builders will appreciate the clear, simple instructions and diagrams, as well as practical explanations for dealing with building codes and insurers. The Straw Bale House shows us advantages so numerous and dramatic that you’ll wonder why we ever moved on to sticks and bricks. –Rob Lightner

Review

Using plastered straw bales as building materials for a home may not sound stable or long-lasting, but these can be used for a variety of purposes from adjacent buildings to entire houses, can be used with relatively little experience, and have many attributes; from super-insulation to cheap construction. Applications are more useful for the Southwest region but ideas may transfer to other U. S. locales. The book’s price tag seems high for a paperback, but this goes in great detail on a subject which is fairly understated in most construction or homeowner’s guides. — Midwest Book Review

How to Build Your Elegant Home with Straw Bales Manual

Cover, HOW TO BUILD YOUR ELEGANT HOME WITH STRAW BALES.Author(s): Sustainable Systems Support

Publisher: Sustainable Systems Support

ISBN: sselegant

Cost: $55

Order From: Amazon.com
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HOW TO BUILD YOUR ELEGANT HOME WITH STRAW BALES The How-To Video you have been waiting for. This 90-minute video by Sustainable Systems Support comes with a booklet containing drawings, a summary of the items covered in the video, & a sample of available plans. (The booklet is available without the video for $15). A comprehensive how-to covering the different phases of construction including design, foundation, bale wall raising, roof, electrical, plastering & more.

The New Strawbale Home

The New Strawbale HomeAuthor(s): Catherine Wanek

Publisher: Gibbs Smith Publishers

ISBN: 1-58685-203-5

Order From: Gibbs Smith Publishers
Amazon.com
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Although strawbale construction is beginning to enter the mainstream, many people continue to wonder what a strawbale house looks like. The New Strawbale Home answers definitively, “Anything you want!” Innovative architects and builders are reinventing this century-old technology to create thick walled modern houses of unsurpassed natural beauty.

The New Strawbale Home compiles floor plans and images from forty cutting-edge homes across North America, from California to Quebec, New Mexico to New England, showcasing a spectrum of regional styles and personal aesthetic choices. This practical guide discusses varying climate considerations and essential design details for problem-free construction and low maintenace care, and also points out the ecologically friendly, energy-saving aspects of strawbale construction. The New Strawbale Home beautifully illustrates how building with strawbale allows for maximum personal creativity–whether the finished product is an urban home, a country hideaway, or anything in between.

Author and photographer Catherine Wanek organized the building of a strawbale greenhouse in 1992 and has been an advocate for strawbale construction ever since. She produced and directed the Building with Straw video series, and spent nearly five years publishing and editing The Last Straw Journal. Her first book, The Art of Natural Building was published in 2002. Wanek lives in Kingston, New Mexico.

Hardcover, 150 Color Photographs
8.5 x 10.75 in, 176 pages

Earth Plasters for Straw Bale Homes

Earth Plasters for Straw Bale HomesAuthor(s): Keely Meagan

Order From: Amazon.com
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Earth Plasters for Straw Bale Homes by Keely Meagan of Earth Artisans, NM (shown plastering a straw bale house with Jazz, the cat.)

53 pages of everything about using earth and mud for a natural finish on bale walls. Covers earthen recipes, planning, testing, problems, how to mix and apply each coat, tools ( trowels and others) and materials needed, resources, great black & white instructional photos. This is a warm and engaging teaching book!

The book has many recipes good for all types of natural homes and plaster projects.

Straw Bale Building: How to plan, design and build with straw

Straw Bale Building: How to plan, design and build with strawAuthor(s): Chris Magwood and Peter Mack

Publisher: New Society Publishers (July 1, 2000)

Paperback: 256 pages

ISBN: 0865714037

ISBN-13: 978-0865714038

Order From: Amazon.com
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This book is an essential addition to your straw bale library. Unlike other books on the topic, this material addresses the unique issues of building in northern climates. Straw bale builders, Peter Mack and Chris Magwood provide all the nitty-gritty, how-to-build-it information. They know the many unique construction issues faced by bale builders, including developing plans and budgets, picking the perfect bales, the golden principles of bale stacking, roofing, plumbing, electrical, as well as dealing with building codes and inspectors.

Peter Mack and Chris Magwood are professional bale house builders. Together they have constructed fifteen straw bale houses and structures. They teach a popular, on-going straw bale building workshop in Ontario, Canada.

256 pages, 2000