Straw Bale House for the arid, treeless central otago environment.
Sarah Johnston firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah and Sven Johnston of www.soldesign.co.nz
Vision for More Sustainable Housing
A Sauna and a loft are in keeping with our client’s Finnish roots. Earthen floors, a five tonne masonry stove, thick earthen plasters and a large central earthen ‘mass’ wall will all act as passive solar collectors absorbing the warmth of the direct solar radiation during the day and warming the home during the cold Central Otago winter nights.
Utilizing straw bales as our high R6 wall insulation will take a non-toxic, natural, renewable and potentially polluting waste product (as straw is often burned) and create a wonderfully insulated sanctuary from exterior noise and temperatures. This is a perfect material for the dry and Central Otago climate and with little local sources of timber.
There will be no fossil fuels used to meet the space or water heating needs for this home. Passive solar, active solar thermal and a super-efficient five tone masonry stove will keep the interior space and domestic hot water needs just the right temperatures while keeping environmental emissions to a rock bottom minimum.
Straw bales stack up for Central Otago sustainable home
Central Otago residents can look at building themselves a better future thanks to a nationwide sustainable housing competition being driven by Otago Polytechnic.
A team led by Otago Polytechnic and consisting of 10 people from Alexandra, Clyde, Cromwell, Queenstown and Wanaka, has been hard at work all year designing and building a straw bale house as their entry for the 2009 Sustainable Habitat Challenge (SHAC).
The walls of the Clyde house are now ready to go up so everyone’s invited to lend a hand at the ‘bale raising’ in Earnscleugh Road on Saturday 7 November between 9.30am and 4.30pm.
And for those ‘sold’ on the idea of straw bale homes as the perfect solution to sustainable housing in Central Otago, the house plans will be publicly available on the www.shac.org.nzwebsite so they can download them and start building their own house.
Sven Johnston, says he believes the house will “stack up” well against other competition entries from around the country, which will all be judged late next month.
“Straw bale houses are used extensively overseas, particularly in the U.S. where it’s become a very common building practice.
“Straw is a great building material option for Central Otago – it’s cheap, natural and provides great insulation for the dry Central Otago climate. Essentially we’re taking a waste product and turning it into a solid, durable, well insulated and easy to maintain home.
“There won’t be any fossil fuels used in this home. Solar heating and a super-efficient masonry stove will keep the interior warm and provide for hot water needs while keeping environmental emissions to a minimum.
“We want to encourage people to copy what we’ve done so we’re making the house plans available on our website for downloading by anyone who’s interested.
“The bale raising and open home will be a great opportunity for people to get hands-on experience to see how they can build a better future for themselves and their families. We’d love people to bring their kids and come along this Saturday to help put the walls up,” he says.
Located at 1088 Earnscleugh Rd, the three-bedroom house is built with non-treated timber and straw bales which give it a high thermal mass and insulation up to two times the building code requirements.
Earthen floors, a five-tonne masonry stove, thick earthen plasters and a large central earthen massive wall will act as passive solar collectors, absorbing the warmth of the direct solar radiation during the day and warming the home on cold winter nights.
The masonry stove radiates heat over a long period at a fairly constant temperature and only needs to be lit every few days. The fire burns hot and quickly, producing very little smoke, and the masonry stove radiates the heat slowly over a long period of time.
It also features a sauna at the request of the owner Sampsa Kiuru who can’t wait to move in.
For more details about the Sustainable Habitat Challenge visit www.shac.org.nz
or for straw bale construction visit www.soldesign.co.nz
Photo caption: House construction
More information about the Sustainable Habitat Challenge
Nine teams from around New Zealand entered the Sustainable Habitat Challenge (SHAC) and have designed and built (or renovated) a sustainable home.
The SHAC teams comprise members from polytechnics and universities throughout the country, with a diverse range of backgrounds such as engineering, marketing, building, architecture and filmmaking. They are supported by private individuals and businesses interested in contributing to the challenge.
Key members of Central Otago team include designers Sarah and Sven Johnston, Paula Hugens from Green Bean Engineering Consultancy, and builder Chris Naylor from Alexandra. In 2008 up to 50 professionals and volunteers participated in the design of the house.
For further information contact:
Sarah and Sven Johnston of
|Sat 29thand Sun 30th||Dry Stone Wall Construction course||Cromwell||9am-4pm||$247.50||Steve Holmes|
|Sat 12thand Sun 13th||Schist Veneering course||Cromwell||9am – 4pm||$247.50||Steve Holmes|
|Sat 12th||Introduction to Natural Building workshop||Wanaka||9am- 4pm||$110||Sven Johnson from Sol Design and Jessica Eyers from SEED Consultancy|
|Thurs 10th||The Commercial Benefits of Green Building seminar||Queenstown||2-4pm||$65||Jessica Eyers from SEED Consultancy|
|To be confirmed||Masonry Stove lecture||Cromwell||4-5pmNetworking event||Free||Albie Barden seewww.mainewoodheat.com|
|To be confimred||The benefits of Masonry stoves workshop for architects||Cromwell||2-4pm||$65||Albie Barden seewww.mainewoodheat.com|
|2 days To be confirmed||Build a Masonry stove course||Clyde||8.30-5pm||$440||Albie Bardenwww.mainewoodheat.com|
|6 days to be confirmed||Design and build a masonry stove course||Clyde||8.30am-5pmSome evenings||$1000||Albie Barden seewww.mainewoodheat.com|
|1 day to be confirmed||Build an outdoor pizza oven||QueenstownWanaka||9.00am-4pm||$110||Albie Barden seewww.mainewoodheat.com|
|Sat 10th||Introduction to Natural Building workshop||$110||Sven Johnson from Sol Design|
|Fri 16th||Photovoltaics – has their time come? Workshop||Cromwell||1-3 pm||$65||Tony from Smart Energy Ltd|
|Fri 16th||Micro Photovoltaics and Wind – lecture||Cromwell||4-5pm5-6pm networking event||free||Tony from Smart Energy Ltd|
|Sat 17th||Micro hydro for your property workshop||Cromwell||9-11am||$65||Tony from Smart Energy Ltd|
|Sat 17th||Wind power for your property workshop||Cromwell||1-3pm||$65||Tony Smart Energy Ltd|
|Sat 7th||Straw Bale wall raising||9.00am – 4.00pm||Free||Sven Johnson|
|Sat 7th||Dry garden visit||Cromwell||11-12||Free||Jo Wakelin|
|Sun 8th– Fri 13th||Straw bale Design and Construction course||Clyde||8.30am- 5pm and some evenings||$1000||Sven and Sarah Johnson14 people maximum|
|Sun 15th||The big open Home eventCelebration lunch for those who have helped||Clyde||10am-4.00pm||Free||Judges of SHAC project present. Much publicity and press release here leading to Cromwell public display centre as next phase|
|Mon 16th||Natural Building for Architects||1.00-3.00pm||$65||Dr Robert Vale|
|Fri 12th||Natural Plastering||Clyde||12.30-4.00pm||$65||Sven|
|Natural Plastering lecture||Wanaka||7.30pm||Sven|
|Sat 13thand Sun 14th||Natural Plastering||9am-5pm both days||Sven|
|Fri night, Sat, Sun||Introduction to Natural Building||Wanaka,Queenstown||Sven Johnson|