“Natural Habitat” Straw Bale Plans

Plan Number: at-200

Designed by: Arkin-Tilt Architects

Natural Habitat

This 1944 s.f. passive solar straw-bale home illustrates solutions to ecological living. A compact four-bedroom plan also allows for a future office addition in the cupola.

Although the current home is oriented on a north-south axis to maintain neighbor’s views, the interior temperature of the home stays within 5° of 68°F without additional heating or cooling. The roof is insulated with cellulose (recycled newspaper) insulation and sheathed with ‘Meadowood’ rye-grass straw-board. Plastered straw-bale walls are balanced by fiber-cement clad conventionally framed walls in appropriate locations (i.e. plumbing, bays and the high cupola walls).

A structural wall of exposed framing provides ample storage for books and art while dividing the living and sleeping areas. Bedrooms all feature bed-sized window bays, and two of the children’s bedrooms are separated with movable wall panels, adding further flexibility. Other ecological features include built-in composting and recycling (hatches in the backsplash allow recyclables to be placed in bins which are accessed from the outside), cooling via cupola windows, and passive solar design.

Awards and Publications

Environmental Design + Construction’s Excellence in Design Award

Sunset/AIA Special Design Award

The Green House

The New Strawbale Home

Casaviva June 2004

Real Simple April 2002


Square Footage Home Elements
Total Living Area 1944 SF Levels: 1
Main Level: 1944 SF Foundation: Slab on Grade
Alternate Foundations: Crawlspace, Pier, Basement
Patio: 710 SF Lot Type: Flat
Footprint: 35′-0″W x 66′-0″D Alternate Lot Types: Gentle Slope
Room Details
Master Suite: Main Level
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2


Details and Features

  • Exterior Patio Space
  • Sliding Partition Walls
  • Passive Solar Design
  • Radiant Floor Heat
  • Large Exterior Fireplace
  • Super Efficient
  • Ample Storage
  • Open Living Space
  • Lots of Windows

Floor Plan


Natural Habitat

Included in Construction Drawing Set

  • Site Plan
  • Floor Plans
  • Roof Plan
  • Elevations
  • Building Sections
  • Interior Elevations
  • Numerous Details
  • Window and Door Schedule
  • Foundation Plan
  • Electrical Plan
  • Roof Framing Plans

Pricing Details (FREE S&H)

Set of Black Line Drawings $1,775.00 Buy Now