Strawbale house

This is the log of my experience building my straw bale home. I am told the pictures do not do the actual finished product justice, however, I am pleased to share it with all who are interested on this site. The trials and tribulations in getting the permit could have brought the project to an abrupt halt, but I knew in my heart that this was something I was meant to do and giving in or quiting was never an option. Enjoy........ and feel free to share with your friends!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Slab is poured..

Today was the slab pouring day. Quite the process - they started at 6.15 a.m. and hope to be finished by 6 tonight.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Radiant floor pipes installed

This week we installed the radiant floor heating system. This will be heated via a heat pump, which will get it's heat from the geo thermal system, which takes the heat from the earth. We are ready to pour the slab, which is slated for next Monday! All inspections have passed so far too!

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Rebar installed, ready for the radiant floor heating system next week.
Had our first township inspection today and everything was OK!

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Forming, plumbing and insulation to slab

Sept 5th.......... here we are, forming, placing the foam insulation over the gravel and installing the plumbing.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Completion of the first week. Geo is in; gravel is leveled; Forming has begun.

Geothermal lines into the house through these pipes. Forming has been prepared and crushed stone for the foundation has been well packed down.
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Installing the Geo Thermal... I chose to use Next Energy for the Geothermal heating system and as Pat Marcotte from Havencraft is a Next Energy dealer, it made sense to have him do the install.

Two trenches were dug, 300' out into the field and 8' deep, which means that the piping (2000') will lay below the frost line and be constantly exposed to the approximate 10 degrees centigrade temperature that the earth remains at 12 months a year.

The system is a closed loop, which means that a mixture of 25% ethanol and 75% water is constantly pumped (during heating season) through these lines, which cycle through the heat pump located inside the house. This then used that heat to heat up the water for the radiant floor heating system in the house.

Energy bills are estimated to be approximately 25 - 30% of a normal home with regard to heating.
Stay tuned for an update on that next winter!

The earth at this site is solid clay below about 18". According to my building crew, the quality of the clay is excellent for using in earthen plaster applications.
So, if anyone wants to source some good clay for their earthen plaster project, let me know!
Posted by PicasaHere we are laying out the pipe - three pipes per trench, totalling approximately 2000'.

Aug 28 2006
Finally we start! The house is a slab on grade. Posted by Picasa
The site where the house was to go was already prepared by the excavator, when they put the drive way in.
This house will sit on a floating slab of concrete so the house will be bungalow, without a basement or second floor.

April/May 2006
Debarking the posts.

Boy was this hard work!

Feb 2006
Harvesting the posts for the interior:
We cut down these poplar trees with the intention of using them in the interior of the house. They will need to be debarked in April time.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

April 2005
The Site.
When I walked the land, I knew.
I knew that this was where my soul wanted to be. This would be the site for my straw balw home.
The rolling hills of Oro Medonte, Ontario, Canada