When the practice
was approached to design a straw bale
house on an exposed site in a rural
location. We considered the risk of
building in this medium to be high
given that the rain is driven horizontally
from all directions on the site.
We engaged the expertise
of a university lecturer who proved
invaluable in assisting to design
a ventilated rain skin to ensure the
long term durability of the structure.
Our clients were
content with the system and the end
result is worthy of the process we
went through to satisfy ourselves
that the house would be sustainable
in the long term.
The site is situated
in a valley in rural Hawkes Bay and
the house looks out over picturesque
farmland, bush and rocky outcrops.
Access to the site
is by a private road and the siting
of the house gives the impression
that no one else exists.
The house is built
using straw bale external walls with
a ventilated rain skin on the outside.
The exterior of the skin is plastered
as is the inside of the straw bale.
Internal timber frames walls are plastered
The exterior joinery
is made from selected macrocarpa and
the roof is blue gum shakes.