Straw Bale Home Design Workshop

Taught by: Timbo Scursso

Santa Fe Straw Bale Design Workshop 2023

Solid Design is Paramount to Your Straw Bale Success

Most people don’t recognize that designing a straw bale house is significantly different than designing a conventional house. Many straw bale-specific details can easily be missed.

Architects new to straw bale design and optimistic owner-designers frequently overlook these details causing many mistakes to compound over the course of the build, which cost time and money to fix.

The purpose of this workshop is to teach you how to implement straw bale-specific details into your design. These details will allow you to design and build a high-quality, super-efficient, and beautiful straw bale home.

straw bale design seminar

Is This Workshop For You? Are you...

Just Getting Started

You may have all the books and all the videos, but you still have so many questions. Or, if you learn better in person, this is perfect to get you started and expand your understanding of the world of straw bale building!

Too Busy for a 7-day Workshop

This 2-day workshop was created to help folks just like you! By focusing on the details of straw bale design, you will gain a firm understanding of how the systems come together and keep moving on your project.

Already Designing Your Home

See your plans with a fresh perspective, as you grow your knowledge of the design process and how aspects influence one another. Deep understanding is vital to your construction success.

A Professional Architect, Designer, Engineer, Builder

Looking to add straw bale design to your portfolio? Gain a solid understanding of the nuances and implications of properly executed of straw bale design and methods. Learn details that distinquish it from conventional construction and be prepared to design your projects with confidence.

More Than Just a Straw Bale Design Workshop

This 2-day comprehensive design workshop covers much more than just the how-to of straw bale home design.

We will cover an array of topics, including what building departments, banks, insurance companies, and subcontractors are looking for in a set of plans. Making a mistake with any of these entities can have a negative impact on your ability to build within a budget and schedule.

Throughout the workshop, I’ll also share all of the cost-effective construction tips and techniques I’ve curated over my years in straw bale (and conventional!) construction.

Timbo Scursso,
Your Instructor

teacher | designer | craftsman

Learn about my approach to straw bale construction and home design in this short video (filmed on a recent straw bale design-build!)

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Join us for learning a short distance from top art galleries, delicious eateries, and local boutiques. 

  • The 16+ hr workshop will be held at The Sage Hotel, a dreamy retreat for all things Santa Fe.
  • Casual classroom setting with ample time for Q&A, review of your construction documents, and happy-hour time to connect.
  • Want to stay at The Sage? Us too! Here’s a discount code to use 🙂 (psst, it is only good until 2/1/23 so book early!)

"It's cheaper to make changes on paper than in the field"

While I am aware that nobody can design a quality house in a few hours, I also know that having an opportunity to explore your design ideas, hopes and dreams under the guidance of a straw bale expert is invaluable. As you integrate what you have learned in the workshop into your own design, I’ll be there to answer your questions and to help you overcome any roadblocks.

If you don’t have a specific design in mind when you start the workshop, don’t worry,  I have some exercises that will pave the way for you to begin your design process. No matter what stage of design, or pre-design, you are in, this workshop will move you towards success.

Learn Essential Straw Bale Details

Reduce Costs & Increase Performance

Electrical Boxes in straw bale wall

Topics Covered

Learn why to build with bales, where they can and can’t work, cost savings, energy efficiency, environmental impacts, debunking myths, straw bale testing results, design specific advantages

Finding loans and insurance in today’s financial market, who to talk to and what to say, how not to raise red flags, initial square foot/budget review.

Straw bale specific code details, what to do if there are no official straw bale codes in your location, essential steps in communication, educating inspectors, building better than code (avoiding code-mandated mistakes), guidelines for getting plans passed, turning inspectors into allies.

Details for slab on grade in temperate climates, super insulated cold weather slabs, stem walls/raised floor/crawl space, basements, pad and pier foundations, rubble trench foundations, earthquake/uplift considerations, radiant floor heating, thermal mass design, foundations for earthen floors, code requirements

Calculating wall heights, effective window and door framing, box beams, wall intersection details, framing multiple stories, bale/ceiling intersections, smooth transitions for different surface finishes, rain screeds for conventional siding, exposed frame details.

Lateral bracing, out-of-plane detailing, when to use an engineer, vertical loads, structural engineering for safety, learn how to visualize the effects of the engineering on the design.

Their effects on straw bale walls, electrical installation details and options, lighting design, code requirements, whole house entertainment systems and specialty wiring (phone, internet, TV, alarms, etc.…), installing plumbing to avoid water damage, water isolation walls, plumbing’s effect on straw bale design

Room locations, cost-effective design details, designing for energy efficiency, and a house that has a good flow.

How to bring all your subs together to create a successful action plan, create your green team, what to expect from your subs (pricing, schedules, etc.…), keep your team organized and happy, scheduling, keeping your subs on budget, what type of contract to use (time and materials, cost plus, etc.…)

Finish flooring (bamboo, earthen floors, stamped concrete, carpet, tile, etc…), interior and exterior wall finishes (earth and lime plaster, siding, etc…)

Roof and floor insulation options, window and door selection, heating/cooling systems, finish electrical/plumbing options, passive solar design, cabinetry and countertops.

What's Included in Your Tuition?

All workshop participants receive the following with their registration…


"A Modern Look At Straw Bale Construction"
($24.99 Value)

Instant Download

"Be Your Own Contractor"
Instant Download Videos
($34.99 Value)

Five Step-By-Step Instructional Videos

Instant Download Videos:
Concrete Framing Post And Beam Load Bearing Lime Plastering
($79.99 Value)

Top Notch Instruction From Timbo (priceless!!!) Plus...

8 Classroom Hours On Best Pactices
Bring Your Plans (BYOP) For Discussion
And, Lots Of Q&A!

Straw Bale Details

22 Page Instant Download Booklet
($20 Value)

2-day Straw Bale Design Workshop
March 4th & 5th 2023
Santa Fe, New Mexico

The regular cost for the 2-Day workshop is $449. BUT you can attend for only $349 if you sign up be Dec 3rd!

Immediately after checkout, you’ll receive an email with links to your +$150 instant download Bonuses. 

Bring a friend and you both will receive $25 off your tuition (contact us after signing up, and we will issue you both a $25 refund). 

Share with a friend:

Use Discount Code “Bale100”
to Save $100

Design Workshop Sale Button


CLICK HERE for information on Getting To and Around Santa Fe

Nearby airports include the Santa Fe Municipal Airport and Albuquerque International Sunport/Airport

Shuttles are available from the airports to Santa Fe. Reservations are recommended. See Groome Transportation

The Sage Hotel offers guests shuttle service to the downtown plaza area.

Workshop Address:
The Sage Hotel
725 Cerrillos Rd,
Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States, 87505

The Sage Hotel is a comfortable gem within walking distance of the food and art scenes that make Santa Fe famous. They really try to make it easy for guests with hot fresh breakfast, shuttles to the downtown plaza area (1 mile), a Whole Foods next door, and are offering a discounted rate if you book before February 1st 2023!
CLICK HERE FOR YOUR ROOM DISCOUNT or tell them you are with the Straw Bale Design Workshop if you call to book.

The Sage Hotel
725 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States, 87505
(505) 982-5952

There are many other options from hotels to Air B&B’s in Santa Fe. Stay wherever is the best fit for you, but be sure to book early as Santa Fe is popular destination!

Your purchase information is protected and secure. We do not share this information.

Tuition is non-refundable.

Early Bird $100 Discount – This is automatically applied to your purchase when made between 11/25/22 and 12/3/2023. 

Bring a Friend and you each receive a refund of $25. To receive the refund, email us after you both have purchased.

Yes! Discounts can be combined!

This means you could get $100 off of the full tuition of $449 plus Bring a Friend refunds. We want you to get the most you can out of this workshop, and know that having a friend to discuss the material with is REALLY helpful!

Please click HERE to review the protocols and policies we have in place to meet the new challenges Covid-19 has brought to us all.

To see The Sage Hotels’ Covid-19 protocols please visit HERE.