Straw Bale Building Details: An Illustrated Guide for Design and Construction

The culmination of a twelve-year effort by over fifty CASBA members, this book is available as of April of 2019 (New Society Publishers) .

Chapter 1 answers questions about the building science of how this natural wall system works, and how building with straw and natural plasters benefits both building occupants and the planet.

Chapter 2 covers many questions about designing with straw bales, including how to achieve desired aesthetic and energy performance goals. It also discusses how design decisions impact construction costs.

Chapter 3 offers valuable insights and information about the structural design options commonly used in straw bale structures that resist gravity loads, and wind and earthquake forces. It details the trade-offs inherent with each choice.

Chapter 4 describes the ways electrical and plumbing are handled in the straw bale walls.

Chapter 5 takes the reader through the steps of stacking the straw bales to form walls and prepare them for plaster, and Chapter 6 describes the plaster options and reviews the steps of plastering straw bale walls.

Chapter 7 contains an introduction to the 2018 International Residential Code Appendix on Straw Bale Construction, and reprints the code and it’s informative commentary. This is a model code already adopted my several states, and serves as an important guide to building energy efficient, long-lasting straw bale structures.

This book was a volunteer effort by members of the California Straw Building Association who drew from their experiences designing and building over a thousand straw bale structures throughout the desert, mountain, coastal, and temperate rain forest climates of California and the Western United States.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will fund research on straw as a construction material, and outreach efforts to promote its use.

Available from local book sellers.