Strawbale Construction Curriculum
by Katia LeMone and Dr. Owen Geiger. Photographs by Catherine Wanek
Facilitators Guide 114 pages, $25
Student Guide 61 pages, $17.50 (5 for $75)

The BWB Strawbale Construction Guide is a construction curriculum offering instruction on regionally appropriate, low-tech building options. If straw bales are available, a sturdy shelter can be constructed very quickly with few tools and a little experience. This approach is also low cost, if the labor is supplied by the owner/builder.
Facilitators and Student versions are used concurrently, as a text to accompany a hands-on straw-bale workshop. Facilitators will find their additional material useful in preparation for and during strawbale workshops to help clarify goals, find basic technical information and get ideas for teaching hands-on activities.
• The Guides are visual, and are easily translated into other languages.
• The pictorial format helps bridge language and illiteracy barriers.

Building Without Borders
: Sustainable Construction for the Global Village
by Joseph F. Kennedy. 253 pages, $26
“In Building without Borders, an articulate, caring community of natural builder/activists recounts everything from the housing and ecological problems to be addressed, to the nuts and bolts (or mud and straw) of the building techniques employed, to the complex social issues of how white Americans can work effectively with indigenous people worldwide, and ultimately the satisfaction of housing people while teaching them skills they can use to house others. The world is a richer place for the work that is chronicled here, and my own world is richer for having read about it”
– Carol Venolia, eco-architect, and Natural Home Magazine Columnist
The Straw Bale Solution
from NetWorks Productions, produced by Catherine Wanek. 30 minutes, $25
The Straw Bale Solution shows that building with bales can produce ecological, empowering, and affordable housing. Narrated by Athena and Bill Steen, co-authors of The Straw Bale House and The Beauty of Straw Bale Homes, The Straw Bale Solution features interviews with architects, engineers, and owner-builders and takes you to straw-bale projects from Nebraska to New Mexico. See how to build, learn about weather and code implications, and experience the barn-raising, community-building aspects of straw-bale homes.
Then follow the Steens south of the border as they work with Save The Children in Sonora, Mexico, empowering local townspeople to create comfortable homes from strawbales-an abundant agricultural waste product of the region.
Educators and innovators, Athena and Bill Steen push the boundaries of vernacular architecture and reveal how the world-wide housing shortage could have a Straw Bale Solution.

The Last Straw Journal

Classic back issues of The Last Straw Journal -The International Journal of Straw Bale and Natural Building
Each issue offers 40 pages of construction insights and hindsights from professionals and owner-builders worldwide, plus reviews and resources without advertising. (TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT WWW.THELASTSTRAW.ORG) $7 each; get 4 or more @$5/each.

Back Issue Index

Issue #39 – Strawbale and Education / SB Resources 2002 – Lessons in teaching natural building to youth, Home-made plaster sprayer, SB Human, Bale and Book Resources.Issue #38 – Foundations and Roofs – Low-cost, Low Concrete Foundations; Frost-protected Shallow Foundations; A Helical Pier Foundation; Primer on Roof Trusses; Straw Bales in the Ceiling – Pro & Con; Trusses from Shipping Pallets; Thatch, etc.Issue #37 – Going Commercial – U.S. Straw-bale Buildings Open to the Public; SB Spec Homes; Mainstreaming in the U.K.; SB Growth in China; Producing Bales; SB Wineries in California & Australia; International SB Registry, Building a Sustainable Practice; etc.

Issue #36 – Solar Solutions – Passive Solar Design & Heating; Integrated Design; Thermal Mass Applications; Earthships; Passive Solar Resources; Passive Cooling; Solar Roof Design; Backup Heating Systems; Masonry Heaters, Shopping for Windows, etc.

Issue #35 – Building Community – Cohousing; Ecovillages; Creating Sustainable Suburbs; Community Greenbuilding Policy; Communities Where you can Learn; Community Profiles & Resources; 2001 Human Resource List and Natural Building Resources, etc.

Issue #34 – Good Details – SB – A Stressed-Skin Panel; Self-Draining, Rammed Tire & Pier Foundations; Keeping SB Walls Dry; SB Detailing for Wet Climates; Simple Pre-compression; Nailers; Mechanizing Straw-Clay; Organizing Wall Raisings; CASBA Tech Tips; etc.

Issue #33 – Plasters – Function of Finished; Designing for Earth Plasters, Mysteries of Mud Revealed; Plaster Permeability Testing; Window Detailing for Plasters; Carbide Lime; Pumping Cement Stucco; Earth-cement Plaster; Gypsum Plaster on SB, etc.

Issue #32 – Cold Climate Comfort – Designing for Cold Climates; Good Detailing; SB & Rastra; The SB Slab; Cold Climate Cob; Cordwood; Earthberming & Masonry Stoves; Warm Floor Heating; A SB Hot Tub, etc.

Issue #31 – Lessons Learned – Pre-construction Planning, Hiring a Builder; SB Financing & Insuring; Don’t Add Water; Insects in SB Structures; SB Compression Testing; SB Fire Testing; Staining Concrete Floors; Human Resource List and SB Resources, etc.

Issue #30 – Small Houses – Journey to a Small Place; Making Square Feet Work Harder; Indian Hand-Baled House; A Family-Sized House; Bumps & Curves in Scotland; Living in Round Feet; Small in The Suburbs; Moore for Less; Why Size Matters

Issue #29 – Lime Plaster – The Role of Wall Coverings; Selecting Lime Products; Lime Paste; Using Waste Limes; Successful Lime Plaster; Limewash; Lime-Ash Floors; Stabilizing Earth with Lime; Keeping Strawbale Walls Dry

Issue #28 – Integrating Materials and Systems – A Simple Strawbale Home; Beyond the Strawbale Home; Natural Systems in Building; Owner Builder & Contractor Collaborations; Bare Minimum Structures; Combining Natural Materials for Energy Efficiency; Heat Stored in Thermal Mass; Energy & Strawbale walls; Composting Toilets; Constructed Wetlands; Aerobic Pumice Wick; Earthbag Construction

Issue #27 – Healthy Homes – Annual Resources Issue: More reviews and resources than you can shake a stick at; Bau Biologie; Are Strawbale Homes Healthy?; Sick Building Syndrome; A Fungus Among Us; The Natural Step; Road to Right Livelihood; We Built Here Now; Colorado Natural Building Workshop

Issue #26 – European Strawbale Scrapbook: Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, France, England, Poland, Belarus, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Romania, Kosovo, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Belgium, Northern Ireland; International Strawbale Conference; Rainscreen Siding; Lime Plaster; History of Cob; Cordwood Masonry; Thatching; Seaweed Roofs; Wattle-and-Daub

TLS #25 – Straw-bale Wall Systems – Load-bearing Hybrid; Modified Post & Beam; Box-Columns and Beams; Owner-builder Kit; Pre-fab Steel Framing; A Simple Rough Buck; Earth-bags and Bales; Seismic Testing Program, etc.

TLS #24 – Straw-bale Code & Testing Update – The International Code; Structural Test Results; SB Arch Test; Basement Bale Walls; Fuel-use Report; SB in Australia & NZ; Tech tips, etc.

TLS #23 – Strawbale Buildings Open To The Public … Regional Organizations Update: CASBA, SBAT, PFSB, Mid-States, Wisconsin, SBAN, NBRC, BSBA, StrawBuild Europe, WWAT, GSBN; Resources for 1998: Codes, Human Resource List, Organizations, Education, Catalogs & Mail-Order, Research & Testing, Building Bale Sources, Videos & Reviews, Physical Resources, Computer Resources & Reviews, Reading List & Book Reviews; Addressing Institutional Barriers to Strawbale Construction; Buying Your Bales; A Bamboo Future; Siting A Natural Building

Issue #22 – Moisture: The Enemy Within
Threat To SB Housing; Moisture Barriers; SB In Heating Climates; Stachybotrys Atra; The Wet Truth; Wet Hazards; Baled Floors And More; Blower Door Testing; Moisture Monitoring; Homemade Meters; Keeping Bales Dry

Issue #20 – Wild with Hope – What Is It About SB?; Buildings with Soul; Baling Habitats; Learning With The Land; HUD, HUD Hooray!; Owner-Builder; It Stacks Up!; Why Help Build?; Green Reunion

Issue #19 – Gaining Momentum/Annual Resource Issue – Books, Periodicals, Code Resources, Research & Testing Resources, Computer Resources, Education Resources, Institutions, Bale Resources, Video Resources, Physical Resources, Catalogs, Planbooks, Human Resource List; Build It With Bales, Version 2; Real Goods Solar Living Center; Goal Oriented Design …

Issue #18 – Around The World with 80 Bales – Belarus: Nyet Problem!; Britain’s Foothold; Irish Bales; Scotland: MacStraw; Netherlands; France: Paille Building; Germany: O Muddy Clay; Notes from Nova Scotia; SB in Norway; Spring in Sweden; Mongolia: “Khan”-vinced; Down Mexico Way; New Zealand

Issue #17 – Harmonious Beauty – Hybrid Techniques; Natural Composite; Straw Wattles; A 100% Grass Solution; Brick and Bale; Bale Adobe; Bale and Cob; Sticks and Stones; Green Building Beginners; Earthen Floor w/Road Base; Mud Experiments

Issue #16 – Options for Foundations – Good Shoes; Rocks in Your Shoes; Notes from the Field; Stone Shoes; Earth Shoes: Earthbags; What About Basements?; Burned Again; A Report from Habitat II

Issue #14 – Wading into the Mainstream – Straw-bale Codes and Testing – Code Officials Speak; Codes Comparison; Research & Testing; Moisture Monitoring; Concrete Bond Beams, etc.

Issue #13 – Safely Gathered In – An Ecological Accounting; Should I Build a SB?; Designing with SB; Passive Solar and SB; Regional Identity; Building with Mini-Bales; Sustainability and Codes; Designing Consciously; Challenges to Design; A Home-Built Stucco Gun; Two-Ended Bale Needle; Light Clay-Straw; Thatch and Thatching; Cobbing it all Together; Goodness of Mud; A Burning Issue

Issue #12 – Housing for People – SB Comes of Age; Trading Wages for Sweat; Community Land Trusts; Affordable SB Housing; The High Cost of Housing; SB Comes to Mongolia; SB Roof; The Hair on Your House; Foundation Connections; Roofing Options

Issue #11 – Sustainability – EarthBuilder; Sustaining the Revival; Our Buildings, Ourselves; Building Lightly; Permaculture and SB; Research, Testing & Codes; Mortgages

Issue #9 – Stuccos and Plasters – Glorious Mud!; Surfacing Walls; Finishing Bale Walls; Recipe Exchange; Preparations for Stucco; Zen and Stucco; Lime Renders; Portland Cement Plaster; Plastic Strapping

Issue #8 – SB Construction and Moisture – Moisture Control; Doesn’t it Rot?; Humidity; Maritime Moisture; Fire Safety; To Parapet or Not

Issue #7 – The New Mexico Revival; Bamboo Roof in Mexico; Navajos Bale for Builders; SB Privacy Walls; Steel Frames; SB Castle

Issue #6 – The French Experience; Hay & Straw-Part III; How Does it Stack Up?; Bale Research Network; SB Tepee

Issue #5 – Trailer Retrofit; Hybrids; Straw in the Ceiling; Building Codes; Testing and Research; Official’s Point of View; Earthquakes

Issue #4 – Documenting the Legacy; Straw Conference U.K.; Hay & Straw-Part II; Gathering in Arthur; Straw Conference—Cirencester, U.K.; SB: Where are They?

Issue #2 – Bamboo Pins; Myths & Legends; Seismic Straw; Staining Concrete Floors; SB Greenhouse

Postage in U.S. $5 first item, $2 each additional item.

To Order: (We prefer checks, thank you for the extra effort.)

You can mail a check, money order, or credit card information
Print and fill out this generic Order Form.
Make check to: Builders Without Borders* and send to:

Builders Without Borders
119 Main Street
Kingston, NM 88042 USA

OR Call 510-525-0525 or e-mail <[email protected]>
(visa/mastercard) along with your name, address & phone #.

*Builders Without Borders is a project of NetWorks Productions, Inc 501(c)3.