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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:Jeff and Wendy Ryan
 Lanesboro, MN 55949
 United States
Structure Location:  
 Lanesboro, MN 55949
 United States

Type of Structure: Non-Loadbearing home
interior size: 5875 sq ft
exterior size: 6000 sq ft
unconditioned space size: 200 sq ft
Number of stories: 3
Bedrooms: 3
Baths: 2
Built primarily by: Owner Built
Building Code Jurisdiction: none
County: Filmore

Open to organized Home Tours and to visitors by appointment.

Begin Date: Sunday, July 4, 1999
Completion/Occupancy Date: Sunday, March 25, 2001

Construction Methods Used

Foundations and Floor: Post and beam construction- (52) posts supported by concrete footings. Insulated perimiter grade beam (4 inch x 32 inch deep). Poured concrete floor (acid stained) with in floor hydronic heat (hot water/electric)
Exterior Finish:
    synthetic stucco /acrylic
Interior Finish:
    synthetic stucco /acrylic
Plaster was applied:
    Over chicken wire/expanded metal lath
Plaster application method:
    By hand, with trowels
    finish coat (acrylic)sprayed on
Were the bales pinned?:
    no pinning
Bale type:
Bale dimensions: 14 inches X 18 inches X 36 inches
Number of bales used: 1,000
Straw type(s) used:
Bale Orientation:
    Strings up (flat)

Insured?: yes
Mortgaged?: yes
Appraised Value: $420,000

Unique features: House includes 2,360 sq ft heated attached garage (52 x 30 feet open span) and three art studios(800 sq ft). Built on a hilltop with great views and limited natural windbreaks. Very quiet and energy efficient. Main living area features 44 X 30 foot open span (24 fool cathedral ceilings) great room.

Problems encountered: Some contractors/morgagers were afraid to get involved, so we built it ourselves and used credit cards to provide building capital. The building is as comfortable and healthy as ever!

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