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Plasters and Strawbale

Most people choose straw bale for environmental considerations, wanting to be kinder to the earth and to themselves. Straw bales have low embodied energy; they're easy and fun to use, while being light on the earth; and they can help create a nurturing home environment. Earthen plasters share all of…
Cedar Rose
January 1, 2022
Online Articles

Moisture and Straw-Bale Walls

Moisture is every bit the very real concern in straw-bale construction that it is in standard wood-frame construction, and many of the same considerations that need to be given to other super-insulation techniques need to also be given to straw-bale construction. A properly designed and constructed straw-bale house will last…
Mark Piepkorn
January 1, 2022
Online Articles

For the Love of Mud

Mud is magic. Mud is fun. Mud can also be quarrelsome. Don't get me wrong, I love earth plasters. I want all new strawbale homes to be wearing them. They make the most beautiful walls I have ever seen. The colors are gorgeous and incredibly varied. The walls feel soft…
Keely Meagen
January 1, 2022
Online Articles

Home-Made Hydraulic Lime

We like to share this is the type of information because the context of lime plaster is so broad and interesting.  It is important to keep in mind your goals when choosing materials.  The information below creates a connection between two areas of lime plaster that are very important to…
Jeff Ruppert
March 5, 2014
Online Articles

Window Sill Details

This is a bonus post showing a couple examples of window sills on bale walls.  Both examples incorporate a drip kerf for shedding water away from the wall.  The first example below is on a Nebraska-Style structure in Colorado and the second example is in Siberia from our 2005 trip.…
The Last Straw
September 5, 2013
Online Articles

Lime Mortars DVD Review

This article is original content and has not yet appeared in the printed version of The Last Straw. St. Astier Natural Limes, a producer of hydraulic lime products from France, is offering a set of DVD videos called The Master Stroke DVD Tutorial Series.  The Master Stroke is a 4-disc…
The Last Straw
July 23, 2013
Online Articles

Fire in a House With Straw Bale Walls

This article is original content and has not yet appeared in the printed version of The Last Straw. No, this is not the house. We don't have a picture of a bale house on fire! This story is a reluctant one about a house comprised of both wood-framed and straw…
The Last Straw
August 15, 2009

THE LAST STRAW
The Alternative Journal of Design and Construction for Dirtbags and Dreamers
Since 1992