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Straw-Bale Walls for Northern Climates

Posted on March 31,2015 by user-968893 in straw bale

The mechanical baler was invented in the 1850s (Reynolds, History of Hay Balers), and it's been a while now since those folks in the Midwest put up a couple of bale houses. You would think that by now we would have very refined construction techniques for straw-bale construction, given that some of those original buildings are still standing. Well, we are getting there.

Builders Complete ‘Canada’s Greenest Home’

Posted on March 31,2015 by ScottG in Canada

A sustainable building school in Ontario has completed work on a 2,400-sq. ft. net-zero energy house it's calling “Canada's Greenest Home.” Now on the market for $649,000, the house incorporates a variety of features that enhance indoor air quality and energy and water efficiency, including a composting toilet, a rainwater collection system, a 5-kW photovoltaic system, and nontoxic interior finishes. (GBA last reported on this house in a February 2012 news story, “Teaching Deep Green by Building It.”)

Teaching Deep Green by Building It

Posted on March 31,2015 by Fretboard in Construction Education

The project is being called Canada’s Greenest Home, which sets the bar pretty high, but the Endeavour Centre, a nonprofit building school in Peterborough, Ontario, decided the time is right. Endeavour encourages its students to engage their minds and “get their hands dirty” on ambitious projects, including this 2,000-sq.-ft. two-story home, which is designed for an infill lot in Peterborough and will be the focus of the school’s five-month Sustainable New Construction certificate program.

Straw-Bale Walls

Posted on March 31,2015 by user-756436 in natural materials

Do you want to build your home out of natural materials? If so, you can build your walls with adobe, cob, cordwood, rammed earth, or wattle-and-daub. Although all of these walls have a long history, their thermal performance is poor. If you want a well-insulated wall, one natural material is the clear winner: straw bales. A 23-inch-thick straw-bale wall has an R-value of about R-33. Moreover, since virtually all straw-bale walls are plastered on both sides, these walls are relatively airtight.

A Straw-bale Project Aims for High Performance

Posted on March 31,2015 by Fretboard in Local

Ohio has turned out to be a busy place for projects aspiring to exemplary energy efficiency, including Passivhaus performance. A three-bedroom, 1,800-sq.-ft. home near Dayton was completed in 2010 and since has been Passivhaus-certified. And a 2,500-sq.-ft.

A Near-Zero-Energy House In Upstate New York

Posted on March 31,2015 by user-756436 in Green Building News

##The engineered frame has custom-made SIP columns DEPEW, NY — Builder David Lanfear is completing work on a 1,300-square-foot straw-bale house designed to approach net-zero-energy performance. Topped with a 10-inch-thick SIP roof, the home includes a 2-kW photovoltaic array and an eight-tube evacuated-tube solar collector connected to an 80-gallon solar storage tank. “We’re using a lot of used and reclaimed lumber and we’re not using adhesives with VOCs,” said homeowner Carrie Zaenglein. “We’re trying to do everything as green as possible.”

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