Constructing the Straw Bale Home

by SheKnows
Apr 21, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. ET
A regular "stick built" house has an R value of about 15. The Hopkins' home has and R value of 45. R Value refers to the measurement of thermal resistance or the transfer of heat.

1 /7: Cool thinking, warm results

1/7 :Cool thinking, warm results

With walls so efficient, the straw bales trap heat in the Hopkins' house through the winters and push it out during the summers.

2 /7: Putting it to use

2/7 :Putting it to use

Straw is what's left over after a farmer harvests the grain and is a resource typically used for animal bedding or fall decoration. Most straw is eventually burned in the states.

3 /7: From scratch

3/7 :From scratch

The project was hefty, to say the absolute least, but Russ and Brittany completed the home in 6 months.

4 /7: The foundation

4/7 :The foundation

What's more bonding than building your first home together?

5 /7: A little cover up

5/7 :A little cover up

The Hopkins' went around the entire house 5 times applying a mixture of dirt, sand, clay straw and a little lime for water resistance. Once again, the Hopkins reiterate their commitment to local and reclaimed practices.

6 /7: Nice and cozy

6/7 :Nice and cozy

The Hopkins' home includes a radiant floor heating system which pumps hot water through a series of closed loops, keeping their humble abode all the more cozy in the harsh Utah winters.

7 /7: It's showtime

7/7 :It's showtime

Who'd have thought some careful planning and a large supply of elbow grease could birth quite the beauty? What's more is the home wields 5 southern-facing windows that provide passive solar heating. The sun is lower in the sky in the winter, thus shining straight into the Hopkins' living room but rises up again in the summer months keeping them comfy all year 'round.