Inside Insulation: From Strawbale to Straw Clay

Insulation equals warmth.  In temperate climates like Oregon’s its necessary for your home to have a jacket in the winter (and to make sure its zipped!)  In this comparative workshop we will be covering the basics of Strawbale Construction, Light Clay Straw and Chip-Slip infill, as well as the types of framing and form work required for each system. We will also cover the more conventional green alternatives currently available to the home builder such as Cellulose and Wool.  In addition to techniques, be ready to discuss the meaning of ‘R-values’, infiltration, solar potential and thermal mass, and how we can make better use of these principles in our homes.

Learning Objectives for week 4:

  • Principles of thermal mass and insulation
  • Basics of passive solar design
  • Breathable walls and vapor movement in buildings
  • Strawbale infill assemblies
  • Discussion on load-bearing strawbale walls
  • Light Clay Straw properties, mixing and application
  • Slip and Chip properties, mixing and application
  • Cob properties, mixing and application
  • Options for ceiling insulation


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