We've all heard the story of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf. But maybe building a house with straw isn"t such a bad idea after all?
From the outside, it sorts of looks like a barn and the resemblence doesn't stop there.
The walls of one home in Honeoye Falls are made from straw. "It's a wonderful material to use, very user friendly."
Mary Golden of Gaitecture design did the plaster work inside the home. She says the straw not only gives the home character, it also keeps the heat in. "Because straw bales have a stronger R-value or a higher R-value the home will maintain it's internal temperature a lot better," she says.
The energy savings isn't the only thing that makes this home "green". Straw is a natural resource. "You'd use it because it's definately a more sustianable product. It's actually a waste product from the production of food," says Golden.
Currently straw insulated homes are pretty rare in our region. They do require a lot of planning because the walls have to be deeper than most. But in other parts of the country the idea is catching on.
At the University of Illinois, crews are insulating a new maintenance building with straw. It will take 500 bales to do the whole thing.