MO' Strawbale Goodness! + Sneak Peeks

Holy Cannoli!! As fall bears down on the southern hemisphere, the race to close in the home is on and free time is at a minimum-hence the lack in updates here on ye olde blog/website. This post is going to be rather picture heavy and a skim of words/description, so please do write us with any questions you may have on anything from this entry that you would like to hear/know more about (as with any other posting on this site).
This past weekend we were fortunate enough to go and work on a straw bale family home out in Hawea Flat. The owners Nicky and James are very in-tune progressives, and their children Ella and Louis are the site pixies with boundless energy. They have a very detailed and informative blog that you can go check out here. At their awesome and inspiring home we took notes and listened carefully to builder and plastering pro, Greg Tumpy. He is the expert who is describing the process in the video and is pictured below- many thanks to you Tumpy!

Showcasing two different application methods, Trent and Tumpy coat the raw straw with a thin film of clay slip (simply water and clay of cream thickness). Trent uses a brush to apply a slightly heavier more localized area, while Tumpy breaks out the heavy artillery with texture gun for quick, large swathe spraying.

As we haven't had a video for sometime we are quite excited to put another one out there for those of us who are visual learners.   Here is a quick video sum-up of ideas that we absorbed over the weekend with the Nicky, Tumpy, and crew:

There are 3 concurrent components being worked on right now, and all of them deserve their own posting, but until then here is a sneak peak:

1st, we are putting the finishing touches on the pair of massive sliding doors that will provide an incredible amount of solar gain. Here are two shots to give you an idea of their scale.

  A great visual analogy for Doug as a hurtling nugget of power,
centered in his new found interest of woodworking

Up on the roof we have great minds working out the structure and 'foundation' for the living roof.  Engineered beyond to support a mini forest, this roof is a jewel of the home.  As it develops we will point the spotlight in its direction.

Another area where progress is being made, is the layering and leveling of the rammed earth floor.  Over the past week and a half, the master bedroom has had the insulation, radiant heating piping, and base stratum laid for its floor.  Below a layer of earth is being spread over the 100 mm thick (4") XPS insulation.  Again, we will do a 'special' on this aspect in the near future. 

As a parting spark for thinking, we give you some before and after shots of the master bedroom straw bale infill.  All of this happened within an 8 day period!  Well, thanks for your interest and get excited for some more alternative construction action in the not so distant future!


  1. WOW! Again, that's all I can say, WOW!
    The beauty you are creating inside and out (literally and figuratively) is incredible. Can't wait to visit. Lots of love!

  2. What a great shot of the little one in front of the doors...says it all. Video is great too.

  3. Thanks for your words- they provide us with fuel and encouragement to keep pushing forward!

  4. Great blog, thoroughly enjoyed the read. Any chance one of the team might be able to email me regarding information on the stabilized earth floor?