OK, I admit it I’m a strawbale fan. I use to haunt the online forums, read many of the books, attended the workshops, helped friends build their strawbale home, and work in Sydney’s first strawbale building. Everything, except built my own cottage (one day!). So the recent post on the innovative Strawjet reminded me we should do more strawbale stories. Originally conceived over 100 years ago, as a way of building houses in the US, on plains where no trees existed, the concept was later forgotten, only rediscovered via some grainy photos in the classic cult book Shelter. A few modern pioneers then embraced, with fervour, this grown-ups-playing-with-huge-Lego-blocks style of architecture, and soon it was sweeping the world. It can now be found in far flung locales like South Africa, New Zealand and Mongolia. The high level of insulation offered by strawbales has seen it similarly welcomed as a building technique in Europe. The Austrian Strawbale Network, or das österreichische strohballen-netzwerk (ASBN), is a hot bed of this design and has a great photo library of strawbale buildings across Europe, from the modern to the rustic. Links to other euro sites of interest are offered too. If Deutsch is not your native tongue, have a peek at the UK’s :Strawbale Building Association. Otherwise there is plenty of info on the ::ASBN site.
PS. We'll provide some links to North American strawbale sites in later posts.