Author(s): Athena and Bill Steen, David Bainbridge, David Eisenberg
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 320 pages
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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.
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