Load-Bearing Straw Bale Process:
Kent Potter contacted Paja Construction in 2007. As an architect for 30 years, Kent was looking for a builder who could utilize natural green building methods and had knowledge about straw bale house construction. Kent had researched other forms of natural construction over his career (such as adobe, rammed earth, cob, waddle and dorb, light straw).
“Of all that Kent Potter researched and tested, he found straw bale to be the most economical, beautiful, and energy efficient building material.”
During the final design process, Kent and Cadmon, owner and operator of Paja Construction, decided that they would apply for NM’s first load-bearing straw bale house permit, which, although it is not allowed in NM, it can be obtained on a case-by case-basis. Construction started in late 2008 in september, and completed six months later.
The entire house is designed to be fully accessible for individuals in wheelchairs. Kent Potter’s house applies with the American disabilities act and includes the principles of universal design, from which everyone can benefit.
Since this was a load-bearing straw bale house, the structural components were carefully utilized by two separate structural engineers before being stamped and approved by the state. Construction of the load-bearing structure was completed flawlessly, and it has become an example of the ability to utilize load-bearing straw bale construction in collaboration with architectural design that will not overload the south facing portion of a straw bale structure, which typically has many windows.
- 2000 sq feet Straw Bale Home
- Two bedrooms
- Two bath
- Double Insulated Foundations
- Venetian Plaster Interior
- Full RO Water Filtration System
- Solar Water Heater
- Rainwater Catchment System
- Super-insulated Straw Bale Exterior
- Cathedral Ceiling in Kitchen and Living Room