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International Straw Bale Building Registry, created and hosted by Sustainable Sources

IMPORTANT! We are currently working on an update to this Registry. To be notified when it is ready for use, please sign up at

Contact Name:Kip Drobish and Marcy Mahr
Mailing address: P.O. Box 423
 Kila , MT 59920
 United States
Structure Location: 2150 Brown's Meadow Road
 Kila, MT 59920
 United States

Type of Structure: Non-Loadbearing homevacation rental
interior size: 2000 sq ft
exterior size: 2000 sq ft
Number of stories: 2
Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 1
Built primarily by: Owner Built
County: Flathead

Open to organized Home Tours and to visitors by appointment.

Begin Date: Saturday, May 1, 1999
Completion/Occupancy Date: Saturday, May 1, 2004

Construction Methods Used

Foundations and Floor: Monolithic concrete slab (kitchen), Rubble trench, and hip wall on the part built into the slope(north). Floors are slate in kitchen, sealed brick on scrap drywall over rigid foam resting on screed sand in main living space and suspended wood flooring in bedroom and bath.
Exterior Finish:
    Cement Plaster
Interior Finish:
    Cement Plaster
    Gypsum plaster
Plaster was applied:
    Over chicken wire/expanded metal lath
Plaster application method:
    By hand, with trowels
Were the bales pinned?:
    internal pinning, rebar
Bale type:
Bale dimensions: 14 inches X 18 inches X 39 inches
Number of bales used: 600?
Straw type(s) used:
Bale Orientation:
    Strings up (flat)

Insured?: yes
Mortgaged?: no

Unique features: For Sale!...Passive solar and off grid. Unique "Kiva like Feel" with posts and beams on interior of most walls. Roof is 12/.5" pitch with parapette and straw bale insulation. EPDM membrane over top with venting. Still need to cover with soil for living roof. Also available as vacation rental for "would be" straw bale home builders and anyone else who thinks vacationing in a straw bale might be fun.

Problems encountered: Vapor pressure pushing out spaces along posts and freezing on exterior walls only to thaw in mid winter thaws, has required diligent caulking.

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