Straw Bale Building

Straw Bale Building

The Straw Bale Summer House
hobbit house spiral composite

Low-impact strawbale hobbit house built from wheat straw bales, recycled windows and cut Leylandii trees and branches.  Self built and designed by Frank Hemming and friends. Approx 400 hours labour. £1000 for materials.

anita sancha with straw bales spiral hut in summer

Anita Sancha in front of the eco house.

This environmentally eco friendly building inspired by Simon Dale is a demonstration of a low cost, low impact, well insulated dwelling which could be erected anywhere.

The Summer House is at the end of a garden in Breinton, Herefordshire which belongs to Anita Sancha.

straw and lime rendered room

Above: Looking out to the south east with winter sun coming in
through the recycled double glazed stained glass.

straw bale interior with woodburner

Above: The tiny woodstove.

low impact envoronmental clothes rail

Above: It's easy to fix a hanging rail to the Leylandii poles.

recipcal roof center

Above: Light from the cupola above.
LED lights are fixed to the roof poles and are solar powered.

recyled windows from a skip

Above: Looking out through the conservatory.

very low impact woodburner for heating

Above: Woodstove with steel flue on paving slab.

Further information

The house has curved straw bale walls, and a straw bale reciprocal roof with a butyl liner and earth on top.

Reject insulation sheets form a floor slab. Walls are built on the edge of the slab. The floor was finished with left over maple floor boards.

All the windows are reject double glazed, rescued from a skip at a glazing company.

The project demonstrates that a minimal, but well insulated little house could be built for very little cost using scrap and local materials. The approximate floor area is (including the “conservatory”) 16 square metres.

plan hobbit straw bale side elevation

Above: North south section, showing the large roof overhang.

plan of spiral hobbit staw bale house showing woodburner

Above: The house is spiral in plan.

plan of the straw bale garden

Above: Garden plan.

Frank Hemmingmaking the recipical roof and bending a bale

  Above Left:     Experimenting with building a reciprocal roof.

  Above Right:   Bending a bale.

curved wheat bales and sawing them to shape

  Above Left:     The curved wall is starting to form.

  Above Right:   Trimming a bale.

environmental low impact building in straw

  Above Left:     Starting to construct the roof.

  Above Right:   Drilling a hole in a bale to guide the hazel which holds the bales together.

drilling staw bales and forming a round house

  Above Left:     Screwing the roof poles to poles laid horizontally resting on the bales.

  Above Right:   The circular hole at the top of the roof, with bales forming the insulation to the roof.

straw bale low impact consevatory

  Above Left:     Freddie having a good sniff for rats.

  Above Right:   Looking out from the main part of the house to the conservatory.

Frank Hemming standing on the eco roof

Above Left:     The straw bale roof before putting on the butyl pond liner. The scrap bituminous corrugated
green sheets are to help with ventilation. Old blankets and cardboard help to protect the butyl.

Above Right:   Left over pieces of triple wall polycarbonate sheet form the roof of th conservatory.

recycled windows and air flap

  Above Left:     The underside of the roof overhang near the house entrance.

  Above Right:   Fixed double glazing with ventilation flap below.

cupola on the roof uses recycled windows in straw bale house
 Above Left:     Constructing the cupola to be fixed over the central hole in the roof

 Above Right:   The cupola in place.

straw bale environment home with Frank on roof

  Above Left:     Fixing Leylandii poles as supports.

  Above Right:   In the snow

solar panel on roof of straw bale cottage

Above: About the only thing visable from the sky is a polycarbonate roof with a PV panel.
The green roof has a layer of soil about 150mm deep which is now mostly grass covered.

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