Originating in Europe (Germany) several hundred years ago, light straw-clay wall systems are proving to be one of the best natural building options. The walls are super-insulated, yet half the thickness of strawbale, thus gaining floor space and saving on material, and the straw is fully integrated with clay, thus protecting the straw from decay and adding thermal mass to the wall surfaces. The walls are also built using forms, so provide a very flat and even surface for plastering once dry. I am in love with the outcome and the process. EcoNest is leading the way in the United States for this system and it was an honor to study and build with them.
the tumbler machine
Once you have built the load-bearing timberframe and lightframe matrix, you're ready to pack the walls!
Raising the cupola onto the house