Project Description

Straw Bale Home Reclaims Site

When the Gonzales family purchased the property in 2009, the pool, driveway, foundation, and some trees remained from the previous house destroyed by the 2007 Witch Creek fires. Building a home designed by Drew Hubbell was something Vince & Paula Gonzales had dreamed about for a long time.

The Gonzales family sees their new 2400 square foot straw bale home as the result of a slew of life experiences and as a tribute to Paula’s parents. Building with straw was important to the family as it is an environmentally friendly, ancient building method with modern application and allot of appeal. Straw bales are a natural product and provide superior fire, noise, and thermal resistance.

The design of their new home salvages what little was left of the previous structure on the property and construction was performed carefully to limit debris. The home sits on the existing slab of the previous home while concrete pieces cut from the slab for plumbing and electrical lines have been re-cycled to build up drainage barriers around existing trees. Even the stairs are made from left over framing materials. Downstairs, the entire floor is a stained, concrete based formula spread over the original slab while the upstairs floors are bamboo, an exceptionally renewable material. The kitchen counter top is made of recycled materials mixed with concrete and a brick wall in the side yard was built from pieces left from the previous home. The house will use gray water for irrigation as well as rain and nightly condensation being collected on the metal roof.

Green Features:

  •  Super insulated straw bale construction
  •  Passive solar orientation
  •  Super efficient windows & doors
  •  Low-water landscaping
  •  Re-used existing concrete slab
  •  Recycled and re-used materials

To learn more about our straw bale construction and projects, click here.