New Straw Bale House
at Solar Haven

- Design and Construction Details -
(with maximum economy in mind)

Basic Design: "Load-bearing" straw bale design; adobe earthen floors, earth and lime plastering on walls (internal and external), conventional gable roof (prefab metal trusses with purlins and 26 gague R-profile metal roofing), 30"' overhangs, recycled cotton batt insulation in attic space (R-32), radiant foil installed underneath purlins

Design Work and... Initial Drawings, Finding Materials, Hiring Workers, Supervising, Documenting : Jim Phypers, President, CEO, and Chief Custodian - "Solar Haven Contracting", Tucson, Arizona

Professional Drafting of Plans: 1200 square feet at @$1.15/square foot -$1380

County Building Permits (Tucson): $1200


Foundation/Stem Wall: hired local labor, concrete blocks, rebar, concrete to fill space between stem walls and grout all holes in concrete blocks

Earthen Floors: adobe "pavers" (4" x 16" x 16") stabilized with cement

Plastering: adobe earthen plastering and lime stucco plastering

Straw Bales: 310 new "construction grade" bales put up during weekend bale raising workshop

Heating: in-floor/slab hydronic radiant system using existing components (domestic water heater moved into greenhouse, manifold system and pumps already in use, Thermomax solar hot water collectors already purchased and installed on the greenhouse roof), 1200 feet of 1/2" PEX hot water tubing (purchased new)

Cooling: swamp cooler, purchased used unit

Water System: use existing rain catchment system, storage tank, pump and pressure tank

Electric System: use existing PV system (solar panels, battery bank, and inverter)

Septic System: use existing system, extend lines up to new house (40 feet), Mindy will do as she did before

Carpentry Work: Local and Tucson capenters, volunteers

Electrical Work: local electrician

Plumbing Work: local plumber

Solar Haven Main Page / Straw Bale House Page

© 2002-2010 by Jim Phypers