Off-Grid Straw Bale Cabin in Kentucky Foothills

earthbag stemwall - 2nd course

Ziggy was featured in Tiny Homes.

Hiya Shelter folks:

I wanted to share a little update about a project we’re working on. We’ve been helping friends build a small, octagonal off-grid cabin here in the Appalachian foothills, outside of Berea, Kentucky. The structure is a post-and-beam frame, and the stemwall is made of earthbags (which we’re currently working on — see my attached photo). In July, we’re hosting a week-long Straw Bale Workshop to build the walls and plaster them with local clay. This is a very comprehensive course for anyone interested in all of the finer points of building with straw bales.

Eventually, the home will have a cob wall with built-in stairs to a loft, a reclaimed brick floor, a small-mass heater and a tiny solar system, just enough for a few lights and very basic electric needs. Exciting stuff.

Well, I thought your Shelter Blog readers might be interested to hear about our workshop. Let me know what you think!

Here is a link to the course:

Brian ‘Ziggy’ Liloia
Natural Building Workshops & More at The Year of Mud

raising-center-post porch-roof-04
earthbag stemwall - tamping octagonal-roof

3 Responses to Off-Grid Straw Bale Cabin in Kentucky Foothills

  1. Randall says:

    I would like to know if you can build a straw bail house in my state of Kentucky and if it will last??

  2. Crystal Johnson says:

    Me too. I was also thinking about a small straw bale building on stilts. That way it is farther away from the ground and gets better air circulation. It will have concrete piers and a basic wood frame for the roof.

  3. ziggy says:

    You can absolutely build with straw bales in Kentucky. It’s all about the details and site, but assuming you keep the walls dry — straw bales are a totally viable choice for this part of the country.

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