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Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction (PDF)
The Complete Step-by-Step Guide
Prefabricated straw bale wall panels combine the performance and low environmental impact of traditional straw bale with reduced labor and more consistent results. These structural insulated panels (SIPs) are built offsite and transported to the job site, or built onsite and "tipped up" into position. Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction is a fully illustrated practical guide to this affordable, scalable method.
Going well beyond the scope of many natural building books, this indispensable manual includes a complete introduction to the use of prefabricated bale walls, packed with all the information you need to determine whether they are the right choice for your project. It covers:
- Specifications, engineering details and building code references
- Comprehensive step-by-step instructions and detail drawings
- Finishing and maintenance techniques
- Budgeting and labor estimates
- Additional resources.
Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction is part of New Society's Sustainable Building Series. Series editors Chris Magwood and Jen Feigin have scoured the world of sustainable building to bring you the techniques and systems that deliver measureable benefits in terms of greater energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact. Written by the world's leading sustainable builders, designers and engineers, these succinct, user-friendly handbooks are indispensable tools for any project where accurate and reliable information are key to success. Get the Essentials!
Chris Magwood has designed and built some of the most innovative, sustainable buildings in North America, including the first off-grid, straw bale home in Ontario. He is co-founder and director the Endeavour Centre for Innovative Building and Living and co-editor of the Sustainable Building Essentials series. He has helped hundreds of people work through the process to design their own sustainable home and achieve their dreams. Chris is the author of Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction, Essential Hempcrete Construction, Straw Bale Details,Â More Straw Bale Building, and Making Better Buildings.
"The next generation of straw bale buildings is coming, and now we have a guide for builders, designers, and would-be manufacturers - from one of the best sources anywhere. As always, Chris Magwood brings enthusiasm, experience and solid science to the subject, so buy this book! Now! And prepare to learn, smile, and be part of a cool new generation of building."
Bruce King, Ecological Building Network, author, Design of Straw Bale Building
"Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction is a jumping off point both for professionals pondering unique, turn-key business opportunities and for novice homeowner-builders seeking an easier DIY approach to straw bale building. Accelerate your own research and development by several years in an easy weekend read."
Ben Polley, Evolve Builders Group
"This essential guide covers it all, from the why and how to the nitty gritty details. Having explored a variety of modular and prefab delivery methods, with the help of this book, we foresee prefab straw bale becoming a favorite go-to solution."
Anni Tilt, AIA & David Arkin, AIA, LEED AP / Arkin Tilt Architects
"Not satisfied with the impact he's already made, Chris Magwood has given us a blueprint for building regenerative housing for the masses. No more baby steps - this book is a giant leap forward for straw bale building."
David Lanfear, Bale on Bale Construction
"[Magwood is] way ahead of the curve as usual with this publication. And yet it is not a minute too early for the public to be introduced to this important advancement in the world of low carbon construction. Enclosed you will find everything you want to know about prefabricated straw bale construction and a bunch of other things you should know as well."
Ben Graham, New Frameworks Natural Building
"Chris Magwood has been on the forefront of natural building and he once again shows his ability to bring things to the next level. Prefab straw bale may indeed be the catalyst that this incredible technology needs and Chris lays out the plan in detail in this book. From why it's important to how to get started, Chris inspires us to think bigger than ourselves. He takes us deeper into the actual "how-to" details in a way that allows the reader to step forward with confidence and bring the dream of prefab straw bale into reality."
Andrew Morrison, www.StrawBale.com
"While it is not possible to create a standardized, code-approved individual straw bale, the use of prefabricated straw bale panels manufactured in a quality-controlled environment offers a system that will have predictable design parameters. As a researcher, educator and practicing engineer I believe that Magwood has provided us with a practical reference that can provide guidance for students and design professionals who know that the future of sustainable building will be found in creative alternative building strategies."
Kris J. Dick, Ph.D, P.Eng., Associate Professor and Director, The Alternative Village, Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba
"A book that should be in the hands of every builder, designer, architect, code official and home owner who wants to see better buildings built. Incredibly accessible and technically thorough, it is not often that a technical guide is also such an inspirational read. Every builder, designer, architect, building official and environmentalist will benefit from reading and re-reading this book."
Melinda Zytaruk, Fourth Pig Green and Natural Construction
"Essential Prefab Straw Bale Building just blew the doors wide open for straw bale builders. Building on his success with his book Making Better Buildings, Chris Magwood has again written a game-changing book for us natural building geeks. Straw bale construction has been criticized as a niche-y, one-off kind of housing typology. Panels are an incredible solution to scalability and replicability of building with straw. My gratitude goes to Chris again for doing the research and testing for us."
Emily Niehaus, founder/director, Community Rebuilds
Rainwater Harvesting, Stormwater Catchment and Alternate Water Reuse
How to Plan, Design and Build with Straw
Living Well in Just-Right Houses
Understanding the Language of Green Building
Protecting Your Buildings from Climate Change