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.

Earthen Floors

Earthen FloorsAuthor(s): Bill Steen and Athena Swentzel Steen

Publisher: Canelo Project

ASIN: B001RF9BLG

Order From: Canelo Project
HC1 Box 324
Canelo/Elgin, AZ 85611

Alternate Source: Amazon.com
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Natural earth floors are fast becoming the finish of choice for people building with adobe, strawbale and cob. Comfortable to walk on, forgiving of dropped pottery and simple to maintain. Earthen floors are inexpensive, don’t off-gas like man-made products and are easily repaired. This illustrated booklet covers all aspects of earthen floors: base preparations for various climates, earthen mixtures; installation; non-chemical sealants; and upper story applications. 30 page booklet.

Built By Hand

Built By Hand
Authors: Eiko Komatsu, Athena Steen, Bill Steen
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Gibbs Smith, Publisher; 1 edition (September 26, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 158685237X
ISBN-13: 978-1586852375

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A modern, full-color version of the Bernard Rudofsky classic ‘Architecture without Architects’, this book takes readers on a magnificent journey to distant corners of the earth in search of the world’s most amazing vernacular architecture. It is the most comprehensive and groundbreaking documentation of hand-made architecture ever published. (Prarie Avenue Bookshop Holiday Gift Guide )

From elaborate bamboo structures in Sumba, Indonesia, to houses carved out of volcanic rock in Cappadocia, Turkey, and homes made from earth-block in Chipaya, Bolivia, Japanese photographer Yoshio Komatsu (assisted by spouse Eiko) has traveled the world photographing vernacular structures. The Steens (The Straw Bale House) provide captions and notes on construction techniques in stone, reeds and many other materials. With more than 700 full-color photos in an 8″X9″ format, the book takes readers to Ethiopia, Iran, Japan, Spain, Venezuela and many other places. (Publishers Weekly )

“more than just a collection of amazing photos” (The Last Straw Journal )

Product Description

Shelter the Human Family is the most extensive documentation ever published of traditional (“vernacular”) buildings throughout the world. With examples from nearly every continent, the book documents the diverse methods people have used to create shelter from locally available natural materials, and shows the impressively handmade finished products through this truly stunning compilation of photographs. Unlike modern buildings that rely on industrially produced materials and highly specialized electric tools and techniques, the shelters featured here represent a rapidly disappearing genre of handcrafted and beautifully composed structures. They are the work of simple and real people who, as builders and homesteaders, have integrated artistic beauty and practical form into their shelter needs. Shelter the Human Family offers insights into the world of vernacular building, along with potential solutions to many of the problems that plague modern architecture. It is a must-have collection that preserves and documents the rich cultural past of each structure and its community, and offers inspiration for those looking to build in a way that is motivated by something larger than speed, efficiency, and economic profit. Bill and Athena Steen are the authors of The Straw Bale House and The Beauty of Straw Bale. They are active in community building programs that teach low-income families how to build their own shelters, and known for their efforts to incorporate artistic techniques based on local and natural materials into the world of modern construction. They live in Elgin, Arizona. Yoshio Komatsu has been photographing buildings and people around the world for 25 years. His photographs were collected in the Japanese book Living on Earth, and his work is regularly published in books, magazines, and calendars throughout Japan. This is his first book in English. He and his wife, Eiko, live in Tokyo.

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