Straw Bale Workshops 2015

Have You Considered Attending A Straw Bale Workshop?

What better way to learn how to do something than taking the time to learn from the expert!?

Strawbale.com and Andrew Morrison are the authority (in my humble opinion) on Straw Bale building. Andrew has written books, runs sold out workshops annually, is a professional speaker and ‘walks his talk’.

Taking a straw bale workshop will do far more than teach you the basics. There is a wealth of knowledge to be had, just from the other attendees on the course, who you get to know during the course. They come from all walks of life and the age range is vast. The ‘like minded’ participants get to share their stories, work together and sometimes, lasting friendships are forged! Opening these doors can lead to a life altering experience. There is nothing quite like ‘mucking in’ with like minded people, getting you hands on experience BEFORE you attempt to do it yourself. I took a strawbale workshop (and many other ‘alternative’ workshops as well) before I finally decided to embark on My Journey to Eco Straw House!

Join Andrew and friends.. learn all you can and discover why you are drawn to this style of building and lifestyle! Hurry… only a few spots remain open for the 2015 schedule!




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Solar Panels At Eco Straw House

Solar Panels Finally Here!

Fall of 2013 and finally, the approval has come thru on the Microfit program, here in Ontario. This was a very lengthy process that involved several visit from various engineers, all quite perplexed at how we were going to secure the panels to the roof. I have a steel roof, with a wavy profile and 1″x2″ strapping. No one wanted to sign off on the engineering on this (had I put 2′x 2″ strapping, it would not have been an issue) so finally, it was decided that we had to have 12 times the normal amount of anchor points than if we had have had the 2×2 strapping. Ridiculose!

Solar L Brackets 3You can imagine how time consuming this process was, plus they had to custom manufacture the anchor bolts to accomodate the brackets!  Each one had to be painstakingly installed and then caulking applied to ensure no leakage of rain thru the roof.  Bolts are spaced at 8″ intervals horizontally and 12″ vertically!

Then the racking was installed, onto the bolted ‘L’ brackets:  Solar RackingSOlar L & Rack close upSolar junction box for panels

Time for the solar panels to go on:

Panels in the truck;
Solar panels in truckThe sled to take them up the roof
Solar ladder sledSolar panels on garage

 

 

 

Solar Panels going on!

Solar garage and houseSOlar garage panels west view

 

 

 

And the inverters on the back of the house:

Solar inverters SOlar inverters 2

 

 

 

And the finished product:

DSCN4478

This project took 12 days to complete. It should have taken about 3, on a normal install.  But I am no stranger to being out of the ‘norm’ on any of my projects!

At the end of the day, it’s all done and dusted AND the best part…. the panels are right on target for generating exactly what was predicted and estimated!

Now, some of you may ask, could I live off the grid from the energy I generate.  The answer is a deffinate YES.. but why would I?  I generate 8 to 10 times more than I use, and therefore, sell this to the grid.  It would be redundant for me to live off the grid.  Now, should everything ‘go pear shaped’ (as we say in the UK) the system can be retrofitted to supply the house needs… if and when necessary.

If you are interested in having solar panels on your home or land, I highly recommend joining forces with a bonafide installer.  I used Lim Energy for my project .  They were very helpful and worked thru the issues with me to get me to the ‘point of connection’.
Contact Lim Energy for more information.  Don’t forget to tell them you were referred by Kandi at the Straw House!

 

 

 

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Hobbit House Exists in the UK!

Can you believe this?!  Hobbit house exists in the Uk!  In the Cotswolds infact. As we say Goodbye to 2012 and Welcome in a New Year, just imagine the foresight and determination that this building required.  If we could set a visions for ourselves, focus on it and live as tho we already have it, imagine how powerful that would be?  I take my hat off to this person…

This ‘Hobbit House’ was built without planning permission by a local eccentric artist, as a sheep shed. Some shed! It started as a simple single height building but grew and grew. It took over ten years to build using stone from the nearby fields. It is so well hidden that council did not know about it, but when they did find out the artist was told to stop. This was in the late 90′s and the artist just stopped and moved to Scotland, leaving it unfinished. Although the Hobbit House was not finished to was big enough to live in but now is full of rubbish, has been partly vandalized. Some parts are unstable and the building is starting to crumble. I had heard about this building but could not find it(it’s not visiable on Google Earth), until earlier this year. I have been back recently and it is now overgrown by ivy and nettles.

Stone House in CotswoldsStone house in CotswoldsStone house in CotswoldStone house in CotswoldStone house in CotswoldStone house in CotswoldStone house in CotswoldStone house in CotswoldStone house in CotswoldStone house in CotswoldStone house in Cotswold

 

 

 

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Straw Bale Construction

The benefits of straw bale construction are huge.  Take a look at this short video to get informed!

Eco Straw House’s Comments: The benefits of using Straw Bale Construction have far more pro’s than con’s.  For example, huge insulation value R 40 to 50, are 4 times more fire retardant than a stick frame house, and twice as structurally integral.  They have very  low heating costs, and don’t need air conditioning.  They have survived the earthquake shake test, use a totally renewable waste resource (straw) and are beautiful to look at, not to mention warm and cozy inside!

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Straw Bale Home for Sale, Aylmer, Quebec

 Straw Bale Home for Sale, Aylmer, Quebec

A warm and welcoming, open concept, 1600 sq.ft. highly energy efficient strawbale home. It is a one of a kind work of art. High pine ceilings and exposed reclaimed timberframe structure. 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bath, beautiful location.

FOR SALE:  $325,000straw bale for sale, Aylmer, Quebec

FOR RENT:  $1600

Contact information: Jacki Coolican  819-827-0459  jackicoolican@hotmail.com

Highlights of the house :

Stamped concrete radiant floor heating on main floor

straw bale for sale, Aylmer, Quebecstraw bale for sale, Aylmer, QuebecSustainably harvested bamboo and cork flooring on second floor

Evokes memories of Mexico and Europe with its rustic charm and warm earth tones.

Beautiful south-facing, solid wood tilt & turn windows

Unique mosaic artwork on each of the extra-deep window sills

Large master bedroom with generous walk-in closet

straw bale for sale, Aylmer, QuebecClaw foot tub and large shower;straw bale for sale, Aylmer, Quebec

Brand new kitchen;

Newly landscaped yard with Eastern white cedar fence with artisan gates;  Superior Energy Efficiency and healthy materials are a major feature:

Straw bale construction, Radiant floor heating, Infrared electric baseboard heating with room by room climate control.  Tankless water heating system.  Bamboo and cork flooring, Energy efficient appliances,  Solar oven (in addition to regular slide in range oven),  Long -lasting and maintenance-free metal roof.  Eco-friendly green materials were used in building and maintaining this home. Interior finishings were done with health in mind, non-toxic hemp oil and beeswax for the wood and rich coloured eco-friendly paint for the walls.

Room Floor type Level
Bathroom
4.2×7.2 ft (1.28×2.19 m)
Concrete Ground floor
Dining room
9.6×8 ft (2.93×2.44 m)
Concrete Ground floor
Entrance
11×6 ft (3.35×1.83 m)
Concrete Ground floor
Kitchen
11×12 ft (3.35×3.66 m)
Concrete Ground floor
Laundry room
4.2×6 ft (1.28×1.83 m)
Concrete Ground floor
Living room
9.6×8 ft (2.93×2.44 m)
Concrete Ground floor
Bathroom
11×8 ft (3.35×2.44 m)
Bamboo Second floor
Bedroom 1 (Master)
15×11 ft (4.57×3.35 m)
Bamboo Second floor
Bedroom 2
10.6×10 ft (3.23×3.05 m)
Bamboo Second floor
Bedroom 3
10×7.6 ft (3.05×2.32 m)
Bamboo Second floor

Eco Straw House’s Comments:

I asked a few pertinent questions about this Straw Bale Home For Sale in Aylmer, Quebec and here are the answers:

What is your source of heating for the radiant flooring?

- electric, water

Expand on the heating issue…. I find people are always most concerned with that.

- very efficient

- hydro bills are approx. $135/ month.

Also, are you on municipal water/sewage?

- Yes

How much land do  you have or what size lot is it on?

- 60 x 100

How old is it?  i.e. what year was it built?

- Built in 2002

Are you the original owners?

- No

Does it have a basement?

- No

Is it wheelchair friendly ?

- No, but could be.

So, if you are in the market for a Straw Bale House, it will be well worth you checking out this Straw Bale Home for Sale, Aylmer, Quebec!

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Life Without Electricity

Living Without Electricity For One WeekCan you imagine Life Without Electricity?

Picture this: the grid goes down, for whatever reason (natural disaster, failure of the transformers, war, etc) and you don’t know when it will come back on.   Pretty scary for Continue reading

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Straw Bale Home/B & B For Sale:

Straw Bale House for Sale in OntarioBeautiful Straw Bale Home/ B & B for Sale in Norwood, Ontario, Canada

For Sale: A large straw bale bungalow in a 21.68 acre hardwood forest. This home was built in 2000 with operating a retreat/B&B in mind but would suit a large family.

There are Continue reading

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Building Code With Room For Innovation

Jeff Whitney, left, the Grand County, Utah building inspector, and Eric Plourde, the instructor overseeing construction of a straw bale home in Moab.A Building Code With Room for Innovation -

Jeff Whitney, the head building inspector in  Grand County, Utah came by the straw bale construction site in Moab where my wife and I are volunteering. He needed to inspect the Continue reading

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Building a House of Straw

Straw Bale Construction in New Zealand Killdeer/Dickinson veterinarian goes green by building a house of straw in North Dakota!

By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press

The sound of chain saws filled the air, while Continue reading

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Eco Straw House on 6 p.m. News Broadcast

What are the chances that Eco Straw House would be on the 6 p.m. News Broadcast?  Very good by the looks of things!

Click here to view the webcast!

(Fast forward to 7.35 mins if you prefer not to watch the whole newscast!)

The Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition (OSBBC)annual Continue reading

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