Saving An Old Albuquerque House With Straw Bales | Paja Construction

Saving An Old Albuquerque House With Straw Bales

  • Retro 1 the building was in bad shape
  • Retro 2 with parts of walls crumbling
  • Retro 3 and cracks throughout the blocks
  • Retro 4 which extended down to the foundation
  • Retro 5 we began digging around the building
  • Retro 6 to reinforce the foundation
  • Retro 7 then placed forms and rebar
  • Retro 8 around the house perimeter
  • Retro 9 and poured concrete for reinforcing
  • Retro 10 our electricians wired the house
  • Retro 11 from the outside of the walls
  • Retro 12 and cut in some extra windows
  • Retro 13 then stacked bales against the walls
  • Retro 14 to insulate and reinforce
  • Retro 15 those old unstable walls
  • Retro 16 once the bales had been covered with netting
  • Retro 17 and everything gotten ready
  • Retro 18 we mixed up the stucco
  • Retro 19 and applied it to the bales
  • Retro 20 while some of us installed windows
  • Retro 21 and they were stuccoed into place on the outside
  • Retro 22 while on the inside of the windows
  • Retro 23 we insulated them with straw
  • Retro 24 and covered the deep window wells with sheetrock

Saving an Old Albuquerque House with Straw Bales — Project Background

An energetic young farming community needed more space for living and meetings, and they had an old falling-down structure on the property—but it was completely unusable, with broken footings, cracks in the walls, an old electrical grid, no insulation, and ugly to boot. The question of whether we could save and repair the place or if we’d have to tear the place down and start again, became easier when we looked at the option of not only saving the house but making it much stronger, energy-efficient and beautiful by retrofitting it with bales.

We at Paja Construction have done enough straw bale retrofits and were able to outline to this farming community the advantages—including a lot of cost savings—of retrofitting their place. Once we got going, and once the building began, we transformed the broken-down place and gave it a new-home-feel.

We all were delighted by the results.

Browse through the photos above to see the transformation process!