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Owner: Monica Kalistar and Paul Battle


Web site:

Type of building (home, cottage, studio, cabin): 2 cabins

Construction method (load-bearing, post and beam, hybrid): load bearing

Square footage: 109 each

Stories: 1

Stage of completion: complete except for deck between two buildings

Date of occupancy:

Other unique systems/features of the building: These are beautiful sleeping cabins, whose design and size allows for useable space without a building permit being required (over 110 sq. requires a permit). The outside stuccoing is complete with colour tint, tile work around the windows, wall mosaic designs and a relief grape vine. The inside walls are earthen plastered (soil from the foundation) and finished with a lime wash and natural pigments. For those interested in seeing a solar hot water system and a commercial composting toilet system these will also be available for viewing.

Builder (owner, contractor, both): owner

Designer: Monica Kalistar and Paul Battle


Engineered components:

Volunteer participation: Lots! These cabins were built as a learning opportunity for many people--straw bale and carpentry workshop, plastering workshop, earthen plastering workshop, earthen floor workshop, creative plastering and artistic workshop.

Length of time to build: Over a period of 2 years

Foundation method and material(s): Foundation are 4' rubble trench with grade beam perimeter poured foundation

Roofing method and material(s): Home built trusses using an engineered design, steel roof over strapping

Bale wall style: Load-bearing, 6 bales high, with bales on edge to maximize inside space

Notes on bale walls (ie, pinned or not, mesh, framing material/style): Used galvanized fencing for the mesh (never again, thank goodness there is tenax now!)

Plastering methods/materials: Hand plastered. Outside is 2 coats of cement/lime stucco and 1 coat of tinted stucco; yellow oxide natural pigment was used for tinting. Inside walls have 2 coats of earthen plaster (clay soil, mason sand, straw, cattail fluff) and finished with 8 coats of lime wash (last 2 were tinted with natural pigments)

Other insulation materials: Roxul insulation in ceiling

Window style/materials: Windows were installed on all 4 sides to allow for cooling breezes in the summer and to bring in lots of light making the cabins feel spacious

Heat source(s): Small electric oil heater (that's all it takes to heat them in the dead of winter)

Cooling source(s): The cabins were designed with windows on all sides to allow for through drafts and they were situated in amongst small trees which decreases overheating. These cabins stay very cool in the summer time.

Electrical source/system: grid

Water collection/distribution system: eaves troughs will keep water away from the foundation and will collect water to assist in keeping the pond's water level more stable

Sewage collection/disposal system:


Cost for per square foot:

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