Eco Depot USA Strawbale Homes

An Eco Depot USA strawbale home can prove to be one of the most energy efficient living structures available to home buyers today.

It is believed that the strawbale building technique has been used since the late 1800's. However, straw has been in use one way or another throughout human history to make shelters all over the world.

When combined with passive solar, a good site location and roof insulation, most Eco Depot USA strawbale home owners find that the need for heating in winter is minimal and that their homes maintain naturally cool temperatures during the summer.

 

 

The thickness of the walls makes for sufficiently thick entry ways, window seats and windows. Once plastered, strawbale homes have a soft, quiet feel, lending themselves to a simple aesthetic. Each strawbale home is unique with its own individual character, especially due to the soft lines of the walls and the variety of natural finishes that can be chosen for plaster.

Independent research on 2 string strawbales rate the R-value between R-40 and R-45. The actual thickness and the way a strawbale house is laid will affect the specific R value. Three string strawbales are valued between R-50 and R-55. These strawbale R Value's do not include the mass and extra insulation gained from the stucco used to cover most strawbale homes.

From netting to bamboo rods, materials for strawbale building have a tendency to be very unconventional. There are basic building materials that are always used, but in every structure Eco Depot USA builds we learn about new and different materials and methods. Weed whackers can be used to trim bales; very long bale needles are used to re-string bales, fencing stays-with a little manipulation work well for holding the wire to the bales, bamboo rods are used to hold the bales together similar to rebar.

We take care to recommend products that are more earth friendly like cotton insulation and non toxic glues. We have always used ACQ wood instead of pressure treated wood.

With care and maintenance, strawbale homes can last for many, many years. The oldest documented straw bale house is from 1880's in Nebraska. The natural enemy of straw is water and humidity. Therefore the most important element in building with straw bales is protecting them at all times. Water damage from the ground and through the roof poses a greater threat than at the sides of the walls. One water rotten bale can ruin an entire wall.However, strawbale buildings in humid areas are capable of "weathering" well. For example the Burritt Museum, which was built in Hunstville, Alabama in 1938.

Foam form construction is a newer approach to Concrete. EPS foam forms are essentially insulated building blocks (think Lego’s) that are tied together with rebar and then filled with concrete. EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam forms provide the same strength as a standard concrete wall with two to three times the insulation. There are several advantages to using these for foundation walls and above ground construction. Special wood forms are not needed because the foam insulation is the form itself and can have a slower cure rate due to the value rating of R-20 to R-40. This compares to an R-8 for a standard 8 inch thick concrete wall. Eco Depot USA uses concrete foam forms as stem walls to protect against moisture.

Design is a critical step to the sustainable building process. Careful designing and planning can insure your project stays on time and on your budget. Over many years of building from other designs with their benefits and flaws, Eco Depot USA have perfected many cost saving techniques and design strategies. From rubble trench foundations to new roofing ideas.

In the years since we began our design and consulting services, Eco Depot USA have achieved many successful breakthroughs - designs that continue to push that envelope. Eco Depot USA utilizes passive solar as well as Thermal and Photovoltaic solar systems in our designs and projects.

Eco Depot USA can consult with your existing design professional and can guarantee cost savings many times over what the other consulting firms charge.

We can also design your home from the beginning. It is important to look at the building site and try to integrate the structure to the land instead of the other way around.  It is also vital to be realistic about your budget so you don't design something you can't afford to build therefore having to redesign which drives up your costs even more.

 

"Do not keep anything in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." -William Morris

 

The details are what make a project good, great or outstanding. It is when thoughtful consideration is given to all details both seen and unseen that a house becomes a home.

Eco Depot USA incorporates sustainable building products such as wheat board, bamboo flooring, handmade biocomposite cabinets and Environ biocomposite countertops into all of our sustainable homes. 

From understanding the importance of moisture protection in all phases of building to the type of materials that can make a difference to the personality of a home, details are what make a simple design stand out and appeal visually as well as spiritually to those that are welcomed into that home.

Knowing the importance of making the house beautiful is just one aspect, however, truly it is in combining this with making the home easy to work with and live in that can really be an accomplishment.

Considerations such as trim work that can make any future window replacements easier and without stucco damage or understanding the right places to emphasize moisture protection while building, the necessity of all plumbing and electrical issues and potential problems or changes..... the list is long and our actions usually innovative.

It is in the smallest of details that Eco Depot USA pay the most attention to while building homes.

 

 

 

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