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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:Katherine Andersen/John Rehorn
Mailing address: 2955 C.R. 213
 Durango, CO 81303
 United States
Structure Location: 2955 C.R. 213
 Durango, CO 81303
 United States
Phone:970 259 7606
Web site:

Type of Structure: Hybrid loadbearing/nonloadbearing home
interior size: 2350 sq ft
Number of stories: 2
Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 1.75
Built primarily by: Owner Built
Building Code Jurisdiction: 81303
County: La Plata

Open to organized Home Tours and to visitors by appointment.
Architect/Designer:Jay Lynch
 Bayfield, CO

Subcontractors: Mountain Stream Builders - natural clay plaster, Jeet Grewal - radiant floor heating, boiler system

Begin Date: Saturday, May 5, 2001
Completion/Occupancy Date: Thursday, January 20, 2005

Foundations and Floor: conventional concrete foundation, ice block stemwalls filled with concrete. concrete slab floor with radiant heat. living room/solarium is adobe floor.
Exterior Finish:
    Earth or clay plaster
Interior Finish:
    Earth or clay plaster
Plaster was applied:
    Directly to the bales
Plaster application method:
    By hand, no tools
    By hand, with trowels
    Pneumatically or mechanically
Were the bales pinned?:
    internal pinning, rebar
Bale type:
Bale dimensions: 14 inches X 23 inches X 46 inches
Straw type(s) used:
Bale Orientation:
    Bales on edge

Insured?: yes

Unique features: 2-story, load-bearing hybrid. We live in an area with natural gas wells. Old sucker rods from well pumps were used as a modified post-and-beam system. Sucker rods are at 4 foot centers and impale the bales. Concrete bond beam on top of bales. Sucker rods were sleeved in pipe that was embedded in concrete (rebar was welded to pipe) Therefore, the bond beam 'floated' on top of bales. Roof was constructed and loaded the bales. After 2 months of compression with careful measurement to see that compression was complete, sucker rods were welded to pipe sleeve, thereby mechanically arresting any further compression. Plaster has shown no significant cracking after 2.5 years.

Problems encountered: A little plaster damage due to water dripping off roof and spattering and freezing and thawing. Build deep overhangs! -- 3 feet or more. My problem is mitigated with dribble chains.

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