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View Full Version : California Liberals building house of straw: literally



Katwoman
1st April 2010, 15:35
How much pot do you have to smoke to be compelled to build your house out of straw?


http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/straw-homes-sprouting-up-in-california-18930206

Sakata
1st April 2010, 20:02
How much pot do you have to smoke to be compelled to build your house out of straw?


http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/straw-homes-sprouting-up-in-california-18930206

Hey! I live in a straw house which I built myself. I have no heating and cooling bills except for the firewood I cut myself. I have no utility bills except for a minimal amount for propane. Laugh yourself into the pot if you wish, but it works for me. How else could I afford to buy silver in this economy?

Also, the reporter in that video had no idea what he was talking about. He kept saying "Hay" instead of "straw". A hay bale home would be a potential disaster.

akak
1st April 2010, 20:09
How much pot do you have to smoke to be compelled to build your house out of straw?


http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/straw-homes-sprouting-up-in-california-18930206

Probably not nearly as much as one has to smoke in order to believe that bits of paper produced in indefinitely large amounts, and whose issuance depends of the dubious self-restraint of those whose power rests on the distribution of those bits of paper, can actually represent and hold real value.

fansubs_ca
2nd April 2010, 01:57
Also, the reporter in that video had no idea what he was talking about. He kept saying "Hay" instead of "straw". A hay bale home would be a potential disaster.

Yes, I can just see it now...

"The neighbor's cow keeps trying to eat my house!" :D

But actually a catalog I got from a now defunct company that sold usual
books did have a section with books on unconventional constuction. One
of the titles was "Plastered straw bale construction". "How to build an
igloo" was discontinued before I got their catalog though. ;)

The disclaimer near the front had an interesting sentence:

"If you are a prisoner or a Canadian, you are advised to check with your
authorities before ordering books" :D

TheLoneRanger
2nd April 2010, 03:29
http://www.burrittonthemountain.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=5&Itemid=53

If you read on down in the Education section, you will see that the mansion uses straw bale insulation and construction. I have a several friends living totally off the grid in straw construction houses...Built them themselves, very inexpensive construction for very comfortable living for folks who would rather spend their hard earned money on productive sustaining land than fancy townhouses stacked 6 inch wall to wall next to other fancy town houses .

I guess mortgages and high energy bills and plastic wrapped plastic food and high taxes paid in tribute to the feds is just more the desired life style of some.... but not everybody.

I wonder what Howard Roark might think of this?

Katwoman
2nd April 2010, 04:36
Your certainly might have trouble keeping your animals in a straw barn too. This may work in some regions of the country but up here in New England this idea has not caught on with out off grid crowd.

Sakata
2nd April 2010, 05:10
Your certainly might have trouble keeping your animals in a straw barn too. This may work in some regions of the country but up here in New England this idea has not caught on with out off grid crowd.

There are strawbale houses in every state of the union and many in Canada. They are ideal for New England because of their high insulation value. I live in a small county in the Appalachians and there are several in the county. Strawbale barns are common. There is no nutritional value in straw. Now, a haybale bard would be a different proposition.

TheLoneRanger
2nd April 2010, 05:34
Your certainly might have trouble keeping your animals in a straw barn too. This may work in some regions of the country but up here in New England this idea has not caught on with out off grid crowd.

Animals don't eat straw. The straw walls are not simply stacked bales.. there is a very work intensive procedure of compaction , layering , and interlocking as well as a wood pole frame in a properly constructed straw bale structure, as well as a plaster outer covering.

http://strawbale.sustainablesources.com/

It is it's own technology, those that do not understand the technology in question often make some very non-sequiter comments and assumptions.

It is a traditional American Construction technique used since the 1800's in America, just like log cabins.

Katwoman
2nd April 2010, 07:11
There are strawbale houses in every state of the union and many in Canada. They are ideal for New England because of their high insulation value. I live in a small county in the Appalachians and there are several in the county. Strawbale barns are common. There is no nutritional value in straw. Now, a haybale bard would be a different proposition.

Maybe in Canada but I have not seen any in Vermont and we have thousands of people who live off grid.

Katwoman
2nd April 2010, 07:16
Animals don't eat straw. The straw walls are not simply stacked bales.. there is a very work intensive procedure of compaction , layering , and interlocking as well as a wood pole frame in a properly constructed straw bale structure, as well as a plaster outer covering.

http://strawbale.sustainablesources.com/

It is it's own technology, those that do not understand the technology in question often make some very non-sequiter comments and assumptions.

It is a traditional American Construction technique used since the 1800's in America, just like log cabins.

I did not say they would eat it but they might poke the walls out:p

I can nevertheless certainly see why this idea would be more popular in the plains where wheat etc. grows more abundantly than in the mountains were I live surrounded by acres of trees.

Katwoman
2nd April 2010, 07:22
Hey! I live in a straw house which I built myself. I have no heating and cooling bills except for the firewood I cut myself. I have no utility bills except for a minimal amount for propane. Laugh yourself into the pot if you wish, but it works for me. How else could I afford to buy silver in this economy?

Also, the reporter in that video had no idea what he was talking about. He kept saying "Hay" instead of "straw". A hay bale home would be a potential disaster.

Cheaper? According to the report it cost "more" to build than a traditional home:o

How long do you have to live there to make the money back?

TheLoneRanger
2nd April 2010, 07:44
Maybe in Canada but I have not seen any in Vermont and we have thousands of people who live off grid.

I think the keyword here is "seen"... what are you expecting to "see" exactly? Straw houses look exactly like stucco or plaster when finished.

Kat... I never took you for somebody that believed and trusted the main stream media before... The video was baddly bent, and presented by a architectually unsophisticated reporter operating outside of their comfort zone.

Please don't take the yahoo report as gospel or definative.. the truth lies elsewhere.. please take some time and look at the links I provided and make your own informed judgement.

DaleFromCalgary
2nd April 2010, 08:28
There are some straw houses in the Calgary area. They are a bit more than just stacking bales, but they are said to be cosy. Compressed straw is no worse a fire hazard than the epoxy particleboard moderns houses are built of.

Katwoman
2nd April 2010, 08:43
I started this thread to poke some fun at the liberals but I am learning a lot about the construction of these houses. I still think the liberals are doing this just to be politically correct rather than to stay warmer and I still have problem with that kind of pretentiousness. But to those of you who own these homes and find they work out OK I say good for you.......I just hope for your sake the big bad wolf does not come a knockin!

The other spin I hoped this would lead up to is the ironic humor of a country founded on gold and silver money in which millions of stone, brick and hardwood frame homes had been built is now, 100 years after transitioning to paper money, advertising the benefits of building straw houses. I guess the irony of that was overridden by the actual functional value these homes might possess.

TheLoneRanger
2nd April 2010, 08:44
Cheaper? According to the report it cost "more" to build than a traditional home:o

How long do you have to live there to make the money back?

Not sure what you are asking .. what do you mean by "make the money back"? That is not a typical question concerning a house or home.

Construction costs depend on local availability of the raw material and the cost of labor. Here, the straw bale houses that were constructed by my friends were more along the lines of a "Barn rasing" . Certain facets of construction, obviously, must be done to code by licensed subcontractors. However the vast majority of the physical labor can be done by semi skilled friends and neighbors.

Here, typically, folks pre-scout for farmers growing grain crops in the spring and prearrange to take their baled straw when it is ready( also allows you to get the right sized bales). Thus getting a significant price break..also local lumber/ log poles from local lumber mills same way.... in one case a deal for the finished lumber for a share cut of their wood lot. Keeps costs down and money in the community and provides a chance to develope or learn self sufficent skill sets amongest friends and neighbors... also seems to help develope a certain defensive passion for straw bale houses that you may have noticed.

Of course locally here you have the added factors of the Burrett Mansion( straw bale construction using over 2000 bales) and local pride, as well as the connection between the "Living Museum" of 1800's era Rural and Farming skills and crafts and the folks who wish to live off the grid. We have two very active 19th Century "Living Museum" venues here... Constitution Hall more focused on day to day living in town, kitchen gardens , weaving, cooking, blacksmithing, candle making etc... and Burritt on the Mountain with livestock, milking, wool gathering, egg production, food crop harvesting , threshing, winnowing, more blacksmithing, shoeing, leather working, wild crafting, game processing , meat preserving, pickling, canning, wildcrafting, even a coal mine.

We are just real big on "Living Museums" here, we have several including NASA's Space Camp http://www.spacecamp.com/ as well as hands on Technology Museums and a 112 acre Botanical Garden http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntsville_Botanical_Garden

http://www.huntsville.worldweb.com/HuntsvilleAL/SightsAttractions/Museums/

http://www.sci-quest.org/home/

http://www.vbas.org/

just to cover the main ones.

So I guess for me and the rest the locals, it is more about keeping traditional skills alive than just being PC or pretentious. And what the heck, I just like barn dances and a good fiddle. http://www.folkjam.org/music-style/bluegrass?geostart=34.727/-86.59
http://blog.al.com/breaking/2009/07/huntsville_museum_of_art_throw.html http://professionalstoryteller.ning.com/events/holmes-street-storytelling-and
http://huntsville.about.com/od/entertainment/a/2009bigspringjam.htm
http://secontra.com/NACDS.html

DaleFromCalgary
2nd April 2010, 12:44
The impetus for straw houses in Alberta is said to be better insulation at a cheaper price than fibreglass. The walls are about a metre thick. As far as I know, all the straw houses I read about were out in the mountains or prairies, where it costs big bucks to lay down a natural gas line to one isolated farmhouse. These are quality-built homes usually of large size, not just some cheap trailer-park trash.

TheLoneRanger
2nd April 2010, 13:47
I found a reference to a 400 year old Straw bale house in France...

Chateau déchets, n'est-ce pas