Building Our Straw Bale House
At Solar Haven



Trench and rebarring for the footer

Poured footer, two feet wide.

Completed double stem walls as required by the Tucson Building Code. Then the space in between the walls and all cells in the blocks had to be filled in with concrete. All cells in the blocks had to be grouted with concrete as well in order to make a completely solid concrete stem wall - very expensive and not necessary but...

A simple sandbag stem wall would have sufficied to support the bale walls and would have been vastly less expensive! This design has been used successfully in other parts of the country where allowed by code or where no codes exist (not common anymore).

A backhoe is filling in between the finished foundation walls to build up a floor to the height of the stem wall. Again, code required the high stem wall because of concerns over flash-flooding in our area - in practice such flooding was never more than as few inches deep and runs off quickly.

Compacting the fill dirt with a gasoline powered tamper,
"a machine made in hell"'
says Mindy - exact quote

Raising the door "bucks" onto the foundation.

O.K. - here we go!

Raising the straw bale walls (our "workshop")...

©2000-2011 by Jim Phypers