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Book Review: The Straw Bale House

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If a cookie-cutter world of bland,
expensive, poorly-insulated, mass-p
roduced tract homes doesn't quite a
ppeal to you, the book: The Straw B
ale House might just serve as the i
nspiration necessary to escape the
Books, Book Review, Straw Bale, Arc
hitecture, Straw, Construction, Hom
es, Home Construction, Building Mat

Article Body:
If we learned anything from childho
od, it was not to build our houses
out of straw. After all, that big
bad wolf was just waiting to blow i
t down. But that was before the wo
rld knew the numerous advantages of
  using compressed straw bales, as a
  key building material as outlined
in the book <i>The Straw Bale House
</i>. This easy to understand book
  is comprehensive in its education
on how to build with straw- so tha
t no wolf (or tornado for that matt
er) can ever blow it down. The boo
k covers why and how to build with
straw bales, while also illustratin
g necessary details to create an ae
sthetically and sound home at an af
fordable price. To portray this poi
nt, <i>The Straw Bale House</i> pro
vides a good number of enlightening
  black and white diagrams as well a
s impressive color photographs. I
would have to say <i>The Straw Bale
  House</i> is the Bible of straw ba
le construction books and therefore
  an indispensable starting point fo
r anyone looking into the straw bal
e home concept. After purchasing t
he book (well worth the price) I ha
d no reservations about going ahead
  with my own project and building w
ith straw bales. Both new and expe
rienced builders will appreciate th
e clear, simple instructions and di
agrams, as well as practical explan
ations for dealing with building co
des and insurers.
<i>The Straw Bale House</i> also nu
rtures you on the many practical ad
vantages of building with compresse
d straw bales. In addition to being
 inexpensive, straw bale serve as a
 clean, and lightweight building ma
terial that is easy to work with.
The book discusses the many importa
nt advantages straw offers such as
super high-energy efficiency (a nee
d in today_s high heating costs), s
uperior fire resistance, while at t
he same time seismically correct.
In addition, this all-natural mater
ial, as a recycled agricultural byp
roduct of grain production, is a su
stainable, renewable resource. Wh
ile enthusiasts of straw bale const
ruction praise this method of build
ing for the aforementioned reasons,
 the actual reason so many people a
re turning to straw bale homes is b
ecause they are so often extraordin
arily beautiful and inviting, as <i
>The Straw Bale House</i>'s many co
lor photographs displays. Clearly,
inexpensive doesn't have to mean lo
w quality nor unattractive. The na
tural materials used in creating a
straw bale home exude a lot of chi.
 And so does this book. <i>The Stra
w Bale House</i> would be a good ad
dition to any coffee table.

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