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The New Strawbale Home Hardcover – July 25, 2003
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An attractive new book...The New Strawbale Home...[has] color photos of 41 straw-bale homes from California to Vermont and from Canada to New Mexico, and contains lively interviews with their owner-builders and architects. (San Diego Union-Tribune 2003-09-21)
Wanek's informative and handsome new coffee-table book profiles 40 residences across the United States and Canada, most built during the past decade's straw-bale renaissance. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram 2003-10-25)
...a beautiful coffee table (or workshop table!) book…both inspiring and practical. (The Last Straw Journal 2003-12-01)
From the Inside Flap
Building with bales has begun to enter the mainstream, yet many people still wonder, "What does a straw bale house look like?" The New Straw Bale Home provides the answer, which is truly, "anything you want!" Innovative architects and owner builders are reinventing this century-old technology to create thick-walled modern houses of surpassing beauty. Their initial choice often stems from the desire to build an ecological and healthy home, and the result also saves on energy bills and encourages personal creativity. The New Straw Bale Home compiles floor plans and images from thirty cutting-edge homes across North America, from California to Quebec, New Mexico to New England. It showcases a spectrum of regional styles and personal aesthetic choices, including urban homes that enhance their neighborhoods, home office solutions, and country homes and hideaways. This practical book also discusses varying climate considerations and essential design details for problem-free construction and low maintenance. Chapters include information on budget considerations, code compliance, siting for energy efficiency, structural systems, and finishing touches. The New Straw Bale Home also offers valuable insights and hindsights of architects, contractors, and owner-builders, plus an extensive resource section.
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It is also beautiful and inspiring to look at.
The book is perfect for people just starting out in this building technique.
For each house there will be at least two, sometimes four or five, pages of text and pictures about the owners homes and how they were built. Don't buy this book thinking it's a build it manual, that isn't the case as the information is more of an idea book type presentation. You'll get a little on costs, size and other things including square feet both inside and outside the walls (along with small floor plans of each home) and several very well done photographs.
I found these photos to be the best part of the book as they will either give you some ideas for your own home or at least they'll show you what's out there. Some of the ideas had a Santa Fe look but some had a sharp edged box with lots of glass look (and not much straw either). Most of the homes were not displayed from all angles, just from selected views.
If you're on a strict budget you won't want this book unless you can find a cheap used copy, it's much more of an idea book.
Most of the homes are in the higher-end spectrum and I was disappointed that I didn't see less expensive (but maybe not as fancy) homes included. However I did like the coverage of the co-housing communities who use straw bale building.
Overall, a lovely book that you will drool over if you like straw bale or any other natural building.