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Owner: Steve Jenkinson


Web site:

Type of building (home, cottage, studio, cabin): home

Number of bedrooms/bathrooms: two bedrooms with one bedroom planned for possible need to sub-divide into two, one bathroom

Special rooms (library, den, great room, study, observatory, etc.): foyer (mud room) is an oval room with strawbale interior walls as well as exterior walls

Construction method (load-bearing, post and beam, hybrid): post and beam using round beams from the bush

Square footage: 1800

Stories: one storey on two levels

Stage of completion: 95%

Date of occupancy: January 2005?

Other unique systems/features of the building: Round beams exposed on the interior, with round rafter poles supporting a herringbone patterned pine v-groove ceiling. Two level design with varying ceiling heights from seven and a half foot cozy areas in the living room and bedrooms flowing to twelve feet at the higher areas in the hall, diningroom and foyer. All windows have carved and shaped reveals and lintels, shaped to diffuse daylight and avoid sharply defined high contrast day lighting. Hydronic heating is supplied from a 650 gallon hot water tank. Heat source is an EPA certified HSTarm wood fired hot water boiler system, providing heat for house heating and all domestic hot water. This home is off-grid, using photovoltaic panels with Surrette battery storage for electrical supply. All construction energy for this home has been produced by solar and wind production at the builder's home, and transferred to mobile battery storage and taken fresh to the jobsite daily.

Builder (owner, contractor, both): owner and Living Sol ~Consultation, Design and Building

Designer: Frank Tettemer


Engineered components:

Volunteer participation: large number of volunteers were present for bale raising weekend / organized by owner

Building inspector: Wayne Priebe

Ease of getting building permit: some educational materials were supplied and building inspector was quite amiable

Length of time to build: one and one half years (estimate)

Foundation method and material(s): poured reinforced insulated grade beam, with separated insulated hydronic floor

Roof style: gable

Roofing method and material(s): steel roofing on inch thick strapping over engineered trusses, supported by post and beam structure

Bale wall style: edge stacked infill

Notes on bale walls (ie, pinned or not, mesh, framing material/style): no pinning was used, Tenax mesh was used inside and out, expanded metal 'diamond lathe' was used to shape window and door reveals

Plastering methods/materials: cement/lime/sand stucco to be applied by Camel's Back Construction

Finish layer methods/materials: finish is intended to be two layers of lime wash with colourant

Colourant added: terra cotta dust, iron oxide, iron sulfate

Other insulation materials: ICF's used to form grade beam over a layer of polystyrene 'blue' SM under the foundation. The floor is insulated with 2 inches of blue SM. In the attic is a 24 inch layer of blown cellulose (recycled shredded newspaper) . Foamed baking soda and cornstarch used as well as 'DAP' latex foam around all rough window bucks, (pumped between the straw bales and the wood as an extra sealant) 'DAP' latex acrylic foam used for all window installations.

Window style/materials: wood windows with aluminum exterior cladding for long life

Heat source(s): HSTarm wood gasifier boiler with 650 gallon storage capacity. Copper heat exchange loops for radiant floor heating and to supply to domestic hot water fixtures.

Fuel used: wood with propane back-up for lengthy trips away

Cooling source(s):

Electrical source/system: 1400 watts of photovoltaic panels with gasoline fired generator as back up. Storage is eight 6 volt Surrette 'Big Red' deepcycle batteries. service is 100 amp panel for 120 volt AC delivery, with four additional circuits of DC electricity for back-up lighting, hot water circulation, and refrigeration.

Water collection/distribution system: Drilled well, with Danfoss 'soft start' 120 volt deep well pump.

Sewage collection/disposal system: Conventional septic tank and filter bed system


Cost for per square foot:

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