when a home dreams green it dreams strawBale

Sustainable living for a Sustainable future, for when a home dreams green it dreams strawbale.
From the beginning it was our intention to build ecologically friendly, structurally sound, naturally efficient homes, using a minimum amount of embodied energy. These methods resulted in a home that is comfortable, artistic, and modern while minimizing the monthly and ever increasing utility bill. To that end I believe we succeeded.
After a decade and 8 homes, my goal now, is to promote the continuance of the strawbale paradigm. I wish to use this blog as a vehicle to perpetuate the ideals that we can reduce our 'footprint’. That we do have options that don’t include following the path of oil. That sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones.
In the end, the big bad wolf, he huffed and he puffed and he huffed and he puffed and.........The 3 little pigies sat comfortably in their home of straw, completely unaware of the danger out there. The wolf contemplated, totally in awe. Perhaps it weren’t so bad to have a home made of straw.
©gregory vroom walter 11/29/11
I believe that the most comfortable home I have ever been in is a Strawbale home.
It is not my intention to teach everything there is to know about strawbale, for there are plenty of books already written that do this quite well, of which I will recommend. Rather my intention is to share the knowledge I have gained from designing and building eight homes that have all performed beyond expectation. I hope you find my posts and pages informative, enjoyable and helpful.

Past Projects

Past Projects

The Thomas Residence
For our second Strawbale Building in Smeltertown, we built a 1640 sq foot home for some more folks wanting to lower their ”Carbon Footprint”. The home is part of a piece of land that is also home to the Cox / Hvoslef project. It features, a variety of historic buildings that comprise of an old homestead. The home incorporates traditional natural plasters inside and out, an adobe earth troumb wall, in-floor radiant heat, solar domestic hot water, and 3000-Watt Solar Grid Inter tie system. This home also features a passive solar radiant air floor influenced by the work of James kachadorian’s in his book “The Passive Solar House”.
Built in 2008-2009; The Thomas’s Home has very clean lines. They wanted a modern, European look. To accomplish this we used no trim for baseboard, doors, or ceiling. The result; a nice clean simple finish. This Strawbale home is Energy Star Rated



Merry Cox and Eric Hvoslef’s Residence is an artists home with an artists touch. Definitely the most fun we’ve been able to have to date.! This pad not only has all the amenities that you expect from The Strawbale Cottage But cool touches through out. Such as; The grill of a 57? Chevy pick up with the chrome arrows saying Apache integrated in the main rooms plaster walls. The headlights work too! Tadalakt style shower walls, an old steering wheel incorporated into the truth window among other cool details.

The Sunnyside Home has 1280 sq ft of living space, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, with an open floor plan. It is oriented south to maximize passive solar gain. Incorporated is a “solar slab” that helps distribute warm air into the mass of the floor by means of convection as well as radiant in-floor heat powered by an electric 11 kw on-demand heater. The home also features a Heliodyne Solar Thermal Hot Water unit providing 80% of the domestic hot water needs. The interior features custom tile bathroom floors, tadelakt master bath, and concrete counter tops as well as Earthen plaster with natural lime top coat for the exterior plaster. The interior plaster is a 2 coat earthen plaster with linseed oil and natural pigments.


The Raski House is located 5 miles north of Salida just off of highway 291. The home has 1408 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and has excellent views of the Sangre’s and Sawatch Ranges. It features radiant in floor heat, and passive solar design and is custom throughout with many artistic touches. During it’s first winter the Raski house has performed exceptionally well with the in floor radiant heat only coming on a handful of times and only during the coldest nights between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 AM.

Bonnie's Straw Bale House - Salida, Colorado
This 1500 sq. ft. house is bermed into the earth on all four sides. Tires {R.E.U’S.} were used as a footer till we were above grade and as a result performs absolutely perfect. The primary heat is a small woodstove designed for a house half the size. Last winter Bonnie used only one cord of wood to heat the entire house and needed to light a fire every couple of days to keep the house at a comfortable level. The coldest temperature recorded inside was 63 degrees and for the summer 76. Her entire propane bill; which runs cooking and hot water was 100 gallons for the first year and her electric bill averages $30 per month.

Merry's Straw Bale Wall - Salida, Colorado

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