Straw Bale Green House


Here is a selection of photos from our recent adventure to Boulder, Utah to participate in the building of a straw bale green house.

2 Responses to “Straw Bale Green House”

  1. Floyd A Says:

    This had to be an interesting few days. Was there any discussion of how you would build a house (i.e. a residence) using this technique? It is my understanding that this can be and is done. I am not quite sure how you would put windows in the walls, etc. for a residence. I saw how they did that in the structure you were working on where they just built a frame wall for the window, but there were no bales of hay on that side of the structure. How would you put a window into a wall in the middle of bales of hay? Also, from the pictures, it looks like they used some sort of stucco on the exterior of the hay, I am guessing to preserve the hay so it does not deteriorate in the weather. In the a greenhouse there would not be a need to have the interior of the walls finished, but if it were a structure that was to be occupied by people, how would you finish the inside of a wall made out of bales of hay?
    What a great experience you and Lisa had with this.

  2. floydcarlton Says:

    Yes, Dad, it was a very interesting project. The seminar was conducted by a builder from Moab that specializes in straw bale construction. We saw a variety of structures, including homes, built with straw bale. Given that we were building a green house, there was no need to include windows other than on the south side of the structure which, as you correctly observed, was constructed using stick framing. However, it is possible to include windows in a straw bale wall. It requires that you modify the bales to accommodate the window frame. There are a variety of techniques to accomplish this, so the choice is really up the builder. (One note, you don’t put the window in the middle of a bale of hay, because you don’t use any hay!) The exterior and interior of the walls, with the exception of the south wall, were covered with earthen plaster. Earthen plaster is a mixture of sand, clay, straw and water. The plaster is then covered with a sealer, usually lime, giving the wall a clean look and feel.

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