Thursday, March 26, 2009

Design Build Live: Straw Bale Wall Raising

From the Design Build Live Website

Saturday, April 4, 9:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Instructor: Norm Ballinger

Location: Between Manor and Elgin, Texas

Fee: $75 - Registration required (You will be asked to create an account. Click HERE if you already have an account.)

Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Straw bale walls are perhaps the best known of all the natural building elements. These thick walls are valued for their incredible thermal insulation as well as their beauty. Several straw bale structures have been built in Central Texas over the last two decades, ranging from garden walls to three storey homes and even commercial buildings.

Straw bale wall raisings, like old-fashioned barn raisings, bring people together to share knowledge, skill, work, food and camaraderie. During this upcoming workshop we will learn many of the skills needed to build a house of straw, including:

Preparing foundations for straw bale walls

Stacking and securing bales

Making custom bale

Stabilizing with external pinning

Attaching window and door bucks

The project is a 2,000 square foot home for Sarah Graham and Brent Jones, who fell in love with the beauty and sustainability of straw bale construction after reading just one book on the topic. Read about their story and see the project’s progress at .

Austin musician and natural builder Norm Ballinger will lead the workshop and complete the walls. Norm and his wife, Cat, live in “The Treehouse”, a three-story straw bale home in South Austin.

Fee for the workshop is $75 and includes a healthy vegetarian lunch and all necessary workshop materials and tools. Water, coffee and tea will also be provided. Enrollment is limited to twenty people. Register for the workshop HERE or contact Gayle at 512-478-9033.

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