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New Hampshire Underground => Underground Projects => House Building => Topic started by: turbo on June 10, 2009, 07:10 PM NHFT

Title: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: turbo on June 10, 2009, 07:10 PM NHFT
Unofficial Porcfest event - Saturday @ 4:00pm, AltExpo tent

Quote
Rick plans to give a presentation on constructing straw bale houses as well as ideas about lowering the cost of construction, insurance, permits, design, energy efficiency, and more. A good title for this presentation would be "Alternative Housing Options" or even "Building your Own Alternative Housing"

I'm a Physics teacher in NH who is building a straw bale home in Maine. Always ready to answer your questions! If you are thinking about building your own alternative home I may have some ideas and/or guidance for you. I'm thinking...no mortgage, low maintenance, and low operating costs!

Hope to see you there!
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: Kat Kanning on June 10, 2009, 07:14 PM NHFT
Neat  :D
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: liftsboxes on June 10, 2009, 07:22 PM NHFT
Interesting, I was just listening to an earthship discussion at www.thesurvivalpodcast.com .  There are some interesting possibilities there.
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on June 10, 2009, 07:30 PM NHFT
I have a Andrew Morrison DVD on building a self  supporting Straw Bale building.  I will bring it.
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: KBCraig on June 10, 2009, 08:26 PM NHFT
Are there source of straw near NH? Maybe NY or PA?

For those not aware, hay is not straw, and hay bales aren't the same as straw bales when it comes to building.
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: turbo on June 10, 2009, 08:32 PM NHFT
Yes, apparently there is plenty of straw around these parts. Rick got his from a local farmer in Maine

Glad you are all interested... this should be fun.  ;D
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on June 10, 2009, 08:40 PM NHFT
Availability is a problem.  I watched the video and became enamored of the system.  I knew that hay was not straw, but, corn stalks which look a lot like straw won't work either.  So, I learned that straw is not common in NH. There is some salt grass stuff on the coast.  I think it can be had in Canada and perhaps in NY.
Right after I learned that it is uncommon in NH, I found out that just like changes in bailing hay, straw is, now, often bailed in 4 X 4 X 8 foot bales.
I still think it is an interesting system.
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: turbo on June 11, 2009, 01:09 PM NHFT
Lloyd... good point... I think Rick told me about all of what you have to look for (right type, no seeds, etc), but I forget. Maybe he will have some answers... or maybe you will have some answers for him   ;)

I should also mention, a lot of the things in his house (DIY radiant floor heating, DIY acid stained concrete floors, DIY polished concrete countertops, to name a few) are not straw-bale-house specific, could be used in conjunction with almost any building technique that interests you.
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: Lumpy on June 14, 2009, 01:14 PM NHFT
Thanks for tuning me back into this thread Turbo!
This is what Aubern and I want to do as soon as we find our lot of land and have the means to pay the previous owner (we are not into using banks) for the lot.
As you know, we've been back and forth with straw bale or earth sheltered, etc.  I keep leaning to straw bale but not necessarily for the best reasons.  Earth sheltered is really cool and all but what I like about straw bale is that I can expand more easily and with timber frame construction adding on is easy as well as super strong...  it just looks more appealing to me for perhaps less than fantastic reasons, like looks, etc. not that I'm not entirely sold on straw bale, just that I want something that I one no man any thing for and doing that will require the lowest possible costs, maintenance, etc...  am I making sense?  I woke up late today and have been off kilter since.
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: turbo on June 14, 2009, 06:31 PM NHFT
Lumpster... sounds like a plan  ;D  I think earth shelters is cool (no pun intended) but don't really know much about it. I like concrete houses too. In fact I like almost anything besides vinyl sided mcmansions  ;)

Looking forward to seeing you two @ porcfest
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: jaqeboy on June 14, 2009, 10:58 PM NHFT
Hey, working on posting the announcement about the upcoming AltExpo#4 at PorcFest09. Rick's talk and all the others we've got planned will be in our tent at site #36.

You can learn a lot about earth sheltered homes (probably) at SolarFest in Vermont, coming up 2 weeks after PorcFest. I'll start a thread for SolarFest, too, but it is a definitely DO NOT MISS event if you're interested in alternative energy/construction, etc.
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: Fluff and Stuff on June 15, 2009, 01:18 AM NHFT
Hey, working on posting the announcement about the upcoming AltExpo#4 at PorcFest09. Rick's talk and all the others we've got planned will be in our tent at site #36.

You can learn a lot about earth sheltered homes (probably) at SolarFest in Vermont, coming up 2 weeks after PorcFest. I'll start a thread for SolarFest, too, but it is a definitely DO NOT MISS event if you're interested in alternative energy/construction, etc.

i posted all of the Alt Expo details I know (including this) to the unofficial Porcfest schedule, http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?topic=17446.0
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: John Edward Mercier on June 15, 2009, 09:39 AM NHFT
Availability is a problem.  I watched the video and became enamored of the system.  I knew that hay was not straw, but, corn stalks which look a lot like straw won't work either.  So, I learned that straw is not common in NH. There is some salt grass stuff on the coast.  I think it can be had in Canada and perhaps in NY.
Right after I learned that it is uncommon in NH, I found out that just like changes in bailing hay, straw is, now, often bailed in 4 X 4 X 8 foot bales.
I still think it is an interesting system.
Cordwood is available (log home building in a more manual labor format).
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: jaqeboy on June 15, 2009, 10:56 AM NHFT
OK, I posted a remark over there (I didn't know about the unofficial calendar). I'll put in a few events now, with the caveat that it'll all change over the next week.

Hey, working on posting the announcement about the upcoming AltExpo#4 at PorcFest09. Rick's talk and all the others we've got planned will be in our tent at site #36.

You can learn a lot about earth sheltered homes (probably) at SolarFest in Vermont, coming up 2 weeks after PorcFest. I'll start a thread for SolarFest, too, but it is a definitely DO NOT MISS event if you're interested in alternative energy/construction, etc.

i posted all of the Alt Expo details I know (including this) to the unofficial Porcfest schedule, http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?topic=17446.0
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: rhoner on June 20, 2009, 04:08 PM NHFT
I'm glad to see there is some interest in this topic.  I'll do my best to both inform and entertain. Although our home is strawbale, that is only part of the idea.  Our structure is "green" to some extent, somewhat contrarian, and mostly libertarian.  Designing and constructing your own home is certainly a liberating idea.  If you have any questions on alternative housing I'll give them a whirl.

Rick Honer
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: PorcAtHeart on August 31, 2009, 10:24 PM NHFT
I'm very much interested in alternative building.  But I've always worried that straw bales would rot quickly.  I've leaned towards an earth-bermed earthbag dome.
Title: Re: Unofficial Porcfest event - strawbale houses/alternative building
Post by: jaqeboy on September 01, 2009, 09:32 AM NHFT
Rick,
Were you able to upload your slide presentation to the AltExpo site, in case that helps this guy understand the straw bale building concept better. It's my understanding that, when built properly, you don't have a rotting problem.