The straw bale architecture village (Pod 2) is the second of seven different sustainable village models to be built. The straw bale village was chosen as the second village to be built because it will demonstrate modularly expandable sustainable housing and a focus on family-based social spaces. It demonstrates the straw bale method of construction along with many eco-artistic external and functional internal options. This page contains the following sections related to the straw bale village:
The Straw Bale Village consists of fifty-two 250-300 square foot (23-28 sq meters) studio-style rooms, each with an attached bathroom. They are arranged in groups of 4 that can easily be connected and or converted to create multi-room units. This village model also includes 11 common areas: a kitchen and dining area capable of feeding 150+ people, computer room, meeting and conference room, children’s art and playroom, game room, outdoor playground, outdoor barbecue area, outdoor dining area, library, gym, and central social area with a gas fire pit that can be covered to provide a stage. The circular design of this pod is heating, cooling, and resource efficient with plans for the center that include fruit trees, recreation space, and water collecting and storage via the decorative waterways. The circular design helps with temperature control in the center as well as keeping animals away from the orchard. Once the earthbag village (Pod 1) is complete, this village model will provide 34 resident units and 18 visitor/guest demonstration units.
Some of the key features and intentions for Pod Two’s design include:
The straw bale housing teacher/demonstration community, village, and city model is purposed for open source project-launch blueprinting and building modularly expandable sustainable housing. Using the double torus design we will build the first few units to completion to show what is possible on the small scale, and then add onto those units to demonstrate how this style of communal housing could be expanded as a community or village need for housing expands, adding additional units as necessary while simultaneously improving energy efficiency and creating a growing space protected by new units. The double torus design also allows for easy modification of the internal structure at a later time to connect or separate rooms based on community resident/family needs. The straw bale village model will become an option for ownership and long-term residence for the Pioneers that have been with the project from day 1. When complete, Pod 2 will be the largest straw bale construction in the world (2x the size of the current largest building) utilizing approximately 20,000 straw bales for the build.
Brianna Johnson: Interior Designer, Architectural Drafter and 3D Modeler
Dave Walen: Architectural Drafter & Designer and owner of Dave Philip Walen Design
Douglas Simms Stenhouse: Architect and Water Color Artist
Renata Maehara: Civil Engineering Student
Sayonara Batista de Oliveira: 4th-year Architecture and Urban Planning Student
Shilcy Augustine: Architect
The Advantages of straw bale construction are many:
Straw bale construction also has some limitations:
As we continue open source project-launch blueprinting the straw bale village and all of its components (food production, waste repurposing, energy infrastructure, water collection and storage, etc.), build them, and problem solve and evolve them for One Community (and with others around the world) we will develop this page as the portal detailing comprehensive open source and free-shared specifics needed for do-it-yourself duplication of each component. These instruction manuals and resources will cover the following areas of this open source village model:
|What we’re working on now|
|Building plans for all components|
|Detailed materials list and cost analysis for all components|
|Do-it-yourself multi-media resource and information hub|
|How to work with local government if permitting is needed|
|Detailed tools and equipment list, best place to buy, and cost analysis for all components|
|Detailed build-time investment needs for each component based on our building experience|
|How to install and utilize water catchment for each structure and the whole village model|
|How to install and maintain internet and a WiFi network for an off-grid community/village|
|Comprehensive remote-village-construction emergency fire, medical, and evacuation plan|
|How to make your build easier than ours and how to solve any problems we encountered in our build|
|Complete and on-going maintenance and upkeep details per our experience with all village components|
|Archive and database of others building similar structures including their experiences, adaptations, etc.|
|List of everyone who helped us design and build this so they can be contacted to help with modifications|
|All of the above for the complete Earthbag Village|
|All of the above for complete renewable energy infrastructure|
|All of the above for complete sustainable food infrastructure|
Here are some of the initial renders and designs for this village:
Click to Enlarge
Straw Bale Village Initial Drawing (left) – Straw Bale Village in CAD (right)
Pod 2 is designed to demonstrate affordable, sustainable housing that can be modularly expanded with maximum ease. The straw bale construction method and torus design with centrally located bathrooms were chosen for this reason. As with Pod 1, the goal of Pod 2 is also maximum space and resource efficiency combined with artistic elements through semi-subterranean design, shared common spaces designed for specific common uses, water catchment off all structures, and more.
Q: How will you protect the straw bale walls?
The straw bales will be covered with plaster and we are still exploring the most durable, resource efficient, and artistic roof option.
Q: What makes this design “maximally modularly expandable?”
The double torus design was chosen because it will be able to be easily modified by others into more of a snake-like winding pattern that will be able to be lengthened as the population of the teacher/demonstration community, village, or city increases. As the winding pattern lengthens it would also increase the wind buffer for any adjacent food production.