February 20, 2008 8:29 AM

Hay, a house!

Would you believe this beautiful earthquake-proof California home is made of hay?

You can find more pictures of that beautiful Berkeley home here:

Straw home construction started in the sand hills of Nebraska, when the European settlers couldn't find building materials, and made do with straw. Now desired for its incredible ability to insulate, and its safety against strong winds and earthquakes, straw is starting to move up in the world, beyond hobbyists and into the mainstream as a sustainable building method. Even this conference and retreat center, the Presentation Center in the Santa Cruz mountains, has chosen straw for construction.

Straw construction is reinforced with steel and framed by wood. Compressed hay bales make up the bulk of construction, which is later covered with several layers of plaster. Not only are these homes earthquake safe, they are esentially sound-proof with their two-foot-thick walls.

(photo from http://www.redfeather.org)

An organization called Builders Without Borders is making a difference with straw home technology in earthquake prone countries like Pakistan. Straw has become one of the most practical and economical methods for common folk to rebuild their communities after earthquakes. Since hay is grown locally, costs are reduced in all areas of construction, especially with transportation. Here is a link to an organization that promotes and educates the people of Pakistan with hay building: http://www.paksbab.org/

Here's a story from CNN about a straw house in Santa Cruz:
Website for the Presentation Center in Santa Cruz:

Websites of interest:

Christina | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (2)

Comments (2)

Ha! Lovely title!

Posted by Juan | 2008-02-22

you made my search easy ... thanks ... your foto is hot too ... yum yum

Posted by Eddie | 2008-03-10

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