Timber Frame for a Straw Bale Home

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Timber frame for a straw bale home
Chad & Shauna Munro, Mabou, Cape Breton Island – Summer of 2007 (2008 update below)

This project was a pleasure to work on. The frame was a straightforward four bents with some great details.

Two dormers were framed out on one roof slope. Bent girths were joined with lower revealed oak splines. There was no wasted space in this design as the custom ladder with hand-shaved ash rungs leads the clients to the upper loft.

The interesting part of this project is the 18” thick straw bale wall outside the frame. The straw bales were acquired from a farmer in Antigonish. The walls will be parged with a traditional clay-straw mix and left to cure.

It was nice to see both fathers of the clients working from dawn to dusk. Also, special thanks go to Mike McMahon for pushing hard to see the job through, and to local craftsman Steve.

Lastly, thanks to the clients, Chad and Shauna Munro for letting us build their dream and for being great hosts.

Update – Spring 2008
Some photos of the finished straw bale house. Interior walls have been parged. You can see the depth of the walls at the door and window casings