A Modern Look At Straw Bale Construction E-Book


The idea to write this e-book was born out of my comprehensive straw bale workshops. Each year I teach hundreds of people how to build with straw bales, hands-on, and each year I sketch out the same details and sections over and over again. I have been asked on several occasions why I don’t simply draw them out on the computer and put them into a bundle to be used as a handout.

Well, I did just that, and then the idea expanded and this book was born. I contacted Chris Keefe of Organicforms Design and asked him to help me with the drawings, as he is an excellent straw bale designer. Having designed over 40 straw bale homes, he has a ton of experience.

In “A Modern Look At Straw Bale Construction”, I have presented what I believe are the best details for the highest quality construction available. My focus is always on designing and building a structure that is beautiful, durable, safe, efficient, healthy, natural, and inspiring.


• Brief history of straw bale construction

• Advantages and debunking myths

• Benefits of straw bale in fires, earthquakes and high wind

• Straw bale in various climates including high moisture

• Getting a loan and insurance on your bale house

• How to get your plans approved by building officials

• How to build various concrete foundations (open and closed thermal)

• Creating a rubble trench foundation

• Learn how to acid stain your concrete floor

• Create your own beautiful earthen floor

• Best practices for installing a radiant floor heating system

• Best shearing options (lateral, x-, knee, out of plane bracing and more)

Timber frame and post and beam straw bale house details

• Load bearing construction

• Short cuts for quicker toe up installations

• How to efficiently stand your framing up to save loads of time

• Dealing with interior partition walls

• Proper installation and techniques for windows and doors

• Creating and installing your box beams for best design details

• Best technique for keeping your water lines out of bale walls

• How to install a hose bib and keep your bale walls safe from water

• Framing for a multiple story house

• My favorite techniques and knot for re-tying bales

• Designing to minimize notching

• A simple but beautiful truth window technique

• Creating elegant niches in your bale walls

• Learn how to properly flash your windows and doors to keep water out

• How to apply mesh to your bale home for longest lasting walls

• Creating gorgeous round, arched, and curved window and wall details

• Creating a comfortable window seat to read your favorite book on

• Prepare your home so that your plaster application goes smoothly and is fun

• Important trade tips on dealing with your subcontractors so that your project stays on schedule and you don’t get overcharged just because it’s a straw bale house

LOOK INSIDE (click to enlarge):


→ Foundation Section Detail for Mild Climates and Cold Climates

→ Raised Floor in 2 options

→ Rubble Trench foundation section (+ for uplift resistance)

→ Earthen Floor section

→ Post and Beam framing assembly

→ Partition Wall framing detail

→ Corner joint and interescting partition walls

→ Window and Door Framing diagrams

→ Recessed Tub Unit interior & exterior framing detail

→ Hose bib assembly and details

→ Two Story wall section

→ Stone Facade details

→ Bale to Post details

→ Interior Post/Eave sections


• Pages: 214 (over 100 Color Photographs)
• Return Policy: 365 days No Questions Asked Money Back


“Your new book is the best we have purchased of the 11 in the house. My husband was ecstatic!” -AM Slaven-Emond

“Congratulations on a fantastic book. It really is an amazing contribution to the straw bale building knowledge base and fills an enormous gap in what information is available.” -D. Hicks

“I found it very easy to visualize the step by step process that was explained. Thanks for your passion and easygoing way of explaining concepts that to some of us feel overwhelming.” -B. Roberston


With every order, receive all 22 of the Construction Details as an instant download for reference purposes and for submitting to your building department. Plus, we will automatically send you a free Instant Download update to our book down the road as we release new versions.