Small Strawbale: Book Review

by ziggy on October 29, 2011 -- 0 comments -- Follow

Small Strawbale is not a book that will prepare you to construct your own straw bale house, in the sense that it will not give you all the gory building details that go into straw bale home construction. Instead, it will provide a nice bit of juice in the inspiration department for those folks intrigued by building with bales, or hoping to break ground on one of their own houses in the future.

As the title quite obviously suggests, this is a book about building small, and building with bales, and the projects featured within all speak to that style in unique ways. Within the book are a range of owner-builder projects — some homes, some sheds, some bike shelters, laundry houses, wood sheds, meditation huts, and more. There is good diversity in the collection of buildings featured here.

Each project has but a few pages devoted to it, with stories about its construction, and some of the details of how it was built contained within those pages. The pictures are aplenty, and some projects are accompanied with floor plan images, helpful for visualizing the actual space and design of these buildings.

The book is interrupted with more technical, or more frequently, artistic ideas and elements that often accompany straw bale building. These short articles help provide background for some of the aspects of building ecologically — built-in furniture, sunrooms, etc.

The photo quality is generally quite good, and the projects themselves are well-chosen. I appreciate the “small” aspect of the projects, as I think this is one of the most important aspects of building sustainably, and the homes and sheds within speak to that ideal quite nicely.

Overall, this is a good book for the aspiring builder, or the builder with some experience under his/her belt looking for inspiration from the work of other accomplished, and artistic straw bale builders.

p.s. Don’t forget: check back shortly to learn more about our Straw Bale Building Workshop in 2012, where you too can learn how to build your own small straw bale home.


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