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Straw Bale Vault Workshop

 
Kim Bozarth
Posts: 23
Location: Nevada
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I've been a lurker for many years and working on permaculture and natural building projects since 1994.  Finally I have all the kids raised and will be leaving my city space.  For nearly 18 years I've been developing my acre in Reno into a permaculture paradise but it is simply too much house for me so I'm transitioning into something a bit smaller.  A LOT smaller actually!  I'm working on a cabin made from a shipping container that is 8'x20'.  This August I'll be co-teaching a workshop with Kyle Isacksen as we build a 12'x16' straw bale vault on my property in the Big Smoky Valley.  If you're interested in details, please see www.cobitatforhumanity.info .  We're going to have a blast!  As an added permaculture challenge, the property I'm moving to is an ancient salt marsh with soil pH in the 9 range - so if you like a challenge, too, come see how I'm planning to mitigate it!
 
Rob Viglas
Posts: 39
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That looks awesome, boss! Wish I could come help. Do you have any info for a DIY on how to build it? If not take lots of pics and vids as I'm sure people would be into it. We just celebrated our first year in our straw bale house that I built here in VT and are loving it. I kept my design simple and rectilinear as it was my first time building and using bales. We now need to build a studio and I would love to try something like that! I have been thinking  about using bales within an A frame but your vault will be beautiful!

good luck to you and have fun!
 
Kim Bozarth
Posts: 23
Location: Nevada
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Thanks and congrats on getting into your straw bale home.  I like that you stuck to rectilinear as that is, in my humble opinion, what straw bale lends itself to best.  I'm a huge fan of load bearing.  For this project I'm actually purchasing trusses from these guys in Wisconsin:  http://www.starwoodrafters.com/gothic-rafters.html
We're going to do a rubble trench and then earth bag foundation and erect the structure.  I'm an artist and this space will be beautiful and expansive and I can hardly wait.  Going to sheath it on the outside with wood and then stack the bales over that.  Inside will have exposed wood for the interior surface (really wanted to avoid plastering the interior as much as I like earth plaster...odd shape and all) and an earthen floor.  The end walls will be cob and I'm going to incorporate a rocket stove/bench into it.  Big fun. 

The design challenge is that I'm also doing a shipping container building and it is going to look like a little mining camp - totally appropriate to the area in central Nevada.  So the roof for the vault will come down straight on the sides and be corrugated metal to match the other structure.

Will definitely take lots of pics and videos.  I have a journalist sister and a soon to be son-in-law film maker on the job.  They've got me covered!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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