Climate’s Effect on a Straw Bale House

Tree in the fog

There’s no question that a local climate’s effect on your home, whether it be a bale home or a home made of concrete block, is something you need to consider. In fact, the climate is often a driving force in people’s decision to build with bales. I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about how hot […]

Tennessee Couple Loses Home to Tornado and Rebuilds With Straw Bales

perspective drawing of the Applegate straw bale house

Jill Plumer and David Clark decided to rebuild with straw bales after their home was destroyed by a tornado. They married in 2001 and soon after the joyous occasion, began dreaming up plans for the home in which they planned to spend the rest of their lives. They decided on a beautiful timber framed house […]

Handling High Winds

man being pulled by wind

If you live in a coastal area or mountain region, you have to make sure your house is designed for handling high winds. You likely have more experience with big wind gusts than someone living in a quiet little valley (except for those screamers that whip down the valley from time to time). The point […]

Straw Bale Construction in Earthquakes

straw bale earthquake test

I want to start by sending Gabriella’s and my love, prayers, thoughts, and hope to all those effected by the recent earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand.  Clearly the tsunami in Japan was behind the majority of the death and damage, but the impact that earthquakes are having around the world on human populations cannot […]

Please Consider Donating to PAKSBAB

Pakistan straw bale house

Gulzar’s family members had been feudal tenants for generations and living in a tent since the 2005 earthquake. Last year they moved into their very own straw bale house and all of the children are attending school for the first time! I recently received an update from PAKSBAB, the Pakistan Straw Bale and Appropriate Building […]

Pakistan Straw Bale and Appropriate Building –

Pakistan straw bale house

This is an amazing organization that I want to share with you all in hopes that you can help support what they do. You can see more about Pakistan straw bale on their website at, but to give you a general idea, they are a nonprofit organization that was created in response to the […]

Baling in Wet Weather: Mitigating Inclement Weather on the Job Site

rain falling on the ground

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are while you read this, but it’s pretty rainy here today! It’s always a concern for bale builders that the rains will come at just the wrong time. In fact, I’ve said it before that as soon as your bales arrive on site, you can […]

AAA Rating for Straw Bale Walls in Earthquakes

straw bale earthquake test

Here’s a great article about the effectiveness of straw bale walls in earthquakes. This study shows how strong they really are by subjecting the 14’x14′ straw bale house to 200 percent more shaking than was seen in the Northridge, CA earthquake of 1994 which holds the largest measured ground acceleration in the world. You can […]

Protecting Your Straw Bale Home from Weather –

water droplet

A justifiable concern is protecting your straw bale home from weather. Water damage is the worst enemy of bale construction and as such, is protected against with the up most attention. There are several ways to deal with water issues in a straw bale home. Rain splash, direct rain contact, humidity, leaky wall openings, and […]

Vapor Barries in Straw Bale Houses –

house wrap

House wrap often creates more damage than it prevents in straw bale houses. Why then are they required in straw bale building codes? The answer is not complicated; however, the impact of vapor barriers in straw bale houses is. For straw bale homes, the push has always been to provide the bale walls with a vapor permeable […]

Straw Bale Houses and High Wind –

man being pulled by wind

I have been asked many times in the past and once again recently how straw bale houses and high wind do together. The answer: extremely well. .Check out the following video for a more complete response to this question. Want to learn more about straw bale houses and how to build one? Want to do […]

Snow Drifts and Straw Bale Construction: Keep Your Bales Dry

Snowed Inn straw bale house

When people consider building with straw bales, they most often find their top concern is how to protect the bales from rain. All too often, snow is not considered a threat to the structure. In most cases, this is true; however, in areas where large snow drifts are the norm, the impact of snow cannot […]