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New Home Design - Indians

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jtrotta

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Jan 16, 2002
Channel surfing last night I stumble upon an interesting short on some young (I think it was) Crow Indians in a school project, that came up with a plan for the housing shortage on their reservation. An inovative group of three designed what is now known as the "Straw House Design". They won an award at school and obtained a grant to put up a "Trial Dwelling".

Hay Bales - two wide, 7 or 8 Ft. tall are stacked around the perimeter and then coated on both the outside and inside with a stucco like material, it is Fire resistent and the hay is packed in such a fashion that the air is squeezed out (limiting combustability & limiting the potential of fire within the walls). The Roof is made in a similar fashion. It appeared to be well thought out and offers some good insight for future housing.

As I only caught the last portion of this show, I didn't know if anyone else picked up on this or has any other info. on this project :?: :?:


8)
 

Roger

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Missouri
I've seen some articles on these straw homes.

Locally, we had a person construct a detatched garage with the stuccoed straw bales. The building inspectors didn't know quite what to think, but he gave his approval.
 

xmrdfghap

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
<span style='color:brown'>These are not that unusual anymore in the dryer climates. If you have the idea of building one, some basic caveats......

1) Make sure the straw is not allowed to contact the ground......set them on blocks with termite flashing. Termites love straw. Also, moisture will "wick" up from the ground into the straw, and when the stucco is portland based, the moisture cannot escape....guaranteed mold problems.

2) Do not use straw for roof support. The ideal system is to use a post and beam construction method to provide support for roofs and shear support......remember the lift factor on roofs is as big a consideration as the weight of the roof.

Other than that, cheap and easy to work with. Just Cost is way down with resepect to the utility.</span>
 

Dee Dee

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Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
j,
Strawbale homes have been around for at least 100 years. They're most common in the southwestern states, and are one of the least expensive and most efficient construction designs around.
I have an big book on the topic of building one, and was considering it at one point ,but since nobody else in my county had ever done so and the building inspector was skeptical at the time, I decided on stick-built. Next time I build a house I may try it, since others in my area have successfully satisfied the inspector that it won't go up in flames or fall down easily.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

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Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
I had an order for a straw built home several months ago so did a lot of research on the internet. I was amazed to find out that the oldest, still standing, still in use straw bale structures are in Nebraska! Where it rains! Also that straw bale homes are built in other parts of the mid-west and northern plains states. Pima County (Tucson. AZ) has a complete section on building codes for straw bale structures, and so do other counties scattered all over the southwest.
 

Dee Dee

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Colorado
I'm fascinated with this type of construction.
At one time there was a guy up near Boulder who would pull together groups of people for a fee to teach them the construction method, and the entire group would build a home from the ground up. Not sure if he's still doing this but I've wanted to sign up so that I could get some 'hands on' experience.
 

Dale Smalley

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Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Last week in South FL we spent a lot of time discussing the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Andrew. Most of if concerning the shoddy construction even by some of the nations largest builders. Now we have one of the strongest building codes in the country. Homes made of straw just sounds like a bad idea. It did not work out too well for the first little piggy either.
 

jtrotta

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Dale

I think the little piggy would be overjoyed and more than likely still be in his house if it were in South Fla, during Andrew, as the housing that was in the newspapers was built with "toothpicks" and paper nakins. That had to be some of the shodiest work I ever saw in my life. If I sneezed close to one of those house's, it probably would have blown the roof off 8O :lol: :lol:


8)
 

Karl

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Arizona
Straw homes & fencing are standing up better than many new construction here.
 
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