Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Welcome!! Our First Strawbale Wall!!

Lots of traffic to the Solar Compound today! To all who pass through here--I welcome you! Thanks for the visit! Drop by again sometime and watch our progress with this "Primitive Green" experiment. Joni and I have absolutely no home building skills. Totally naive. Clumsy. Inept. More comfortable with a book than with a hammer. If we can do it, anybody can!

We finished our first wall today. We started by lifting this monstrous Header above the window.


We had to build the Strawbales up to the header (this should have been the first photo...but this is an amateur site!).

The Header attached to the Strawbales.

And then we just stacked and pinned the Strawbales to the wall. It went up amazingly easy. We used other Strawbales as our scaffolding...

Pounding the Strawbales into place. is called.

Joni waving from the outside of our new wall!

Above the bales we will put in some plexi-glass as a sky light. That will provide ambient light into the room and also will allow us to see the beauty of the Post and Beam and Barnwood Ceiling. Although by doing that, we do feel like we are selling out a bit on our Primitive Green theme.

Never trust someone who is totally consistent!

What do you think?


Scot McCluskey said...

Nice job. I've been waiting to see this part of the project begin. It is interesting to see how the straw bales integrate with the post and beam. Can you show a picture of how you pin the bales together? Also, how will you seal the joints between the post and beam and the straw bales?
BTW: The idea of the skylight seems no more of a sellout than the windows you show in the pics.

Allan Stellar said...

Hi Scot!

We have been waiting for this part too. We are only six months behind schedule!

The bales are pinned with a wire mesh, that doesn't show up very well with our bottom-of-the-line Kodak camera. But I will toss in a photo of the process (as there are many more bales to go over the next couple of months). The mesh nails to the post and beam and is stapled into the bales. I'm impressed with the stability of the wall...and the mud over the top of the bales secures it all the more.

As for skylights and windows? The windows are recycled from a contractor (that feels better to me than buying new ones). If we put up Plexiglass, that seems to violate our "only recycled and primitive products rules".

I only wish we were this far along when you visited last summer. Care for a return visit? I'll provide better accomodations and tastier wine!

Anybody want to visit? I could use the help... :)