On a beautiful sunny day we visited the local Somerset field where our straw was growing. "It's called Claire," said Chris the burly farmer, "a good hardy straw." So different from rolling up at a DIY Hypermarket.
Building was fun. Never done anything like it before. For a whole summer we became part of a community of generous hearted volunteers and neighbours who would turn up to slap on some lime, lift some rafters, roll out some turf, cut some hazel rods, bring up another load of bales from the barn. We installed a light pipe to bring in more natural light and spent happy hours moulding shapes into the lime. It was an adventure - we learnt together as we went along. My 91 year old Mum turned up and sculpted a perfect toad into one of the walls. There's also a badger, a blackbird and a sheaf of straw. Lime plaster is great for modelling. So different from plaster board.
Over 18 months it all got done. The Wildflower Meadow roof thrived, bringing birds and butterflies, the huge wide veranda became a place for hanging out, drinking coffee (and drying the washing). We installed a huge solar panel and spent a happy day mixing the colour for the lime walls - Green and Blacks organic dark chocolate, turmeric, cinnamon and some brick dust (maybe a tad too much turmeric - the smell was a bit much for the first three months.)
Straw bales are brilliant for both sound and heat insulation. Stays toasty warm in winter, and it's wonderfully cool in summer and the walls keep out the sound of blackbirds and great tits from my recordings.
Build one yourself. Everyone should have a Strawdio.
The Strawdio was built out of Strawbales and is a hybrid "loadbearing" and timber supported structure. The roof is Wild Flower Meadow sitting on a pond liner. I made it myself with the help of an army of volunteers over 2 years after going on some courses with Barbara of amazon Nails.
for a complete diary (with pics)of the build go to www.pindropclub.co.uk/strawdio